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3 1833 01744 4453 


Organized November 1, 1883 Incorporated February 12, 1891 



Historical Society 





Organized November I, 1883 Incorporated February 12, 1891 




Historical Society 




McBride Printing Company 


Officers of the Historical Society, 1918. 


French Expansion into the Pacific in the Seventeenth, Eighteenth 

and Nineteenth Centuries Marguerite Eyer, A. M. 5 

The Neglected Missions of Southern California. .Olive R. La Clair 24 

A Review of Rubl's Inspection of the Frontier Presidios of New 

Spain, 1766-1768 Marion L. Haskell, M. A. 33 

A Study of Southern California Place Names Ora A. Lovejoy 44 

Education in California during the Pre-Statehood Period 

J. Andrew Ewing 51 

Transportation in California before the Railroads, with Especial 

Reference to Los Angeles Robert G. Cleland, Ph. D. 60 

History of the Beet Sugar Industry in California 

Torsten A. Magnuson, A. M. 68 

History of the Communistic Colony Llano del Rio 

A. R. Clifton, A. M. 80 

Selected List of Source Material in the Los Angeles Public 
Library. California — ^From the Discovery to the End of the 
Spanish Period Laura Cooley 91 

Glimpses of California, 1860^61— William Carroll . . Harriette Saxton 102 

Officers of the Historical Society 
of Southicrn California 



Rockwell D. Hunt President 

Mrs. Lucy M. Gaines First Vice-President 

Waldemar Westergaard Second Vice-President 

M. C. Bettinger Treasurer 

James M. Guinn * Secretary and Curator 


Rockwell D. Hunt George F. Bovard 

James M. Guinn * Roy Malcom 

Mrs. Lucy M. Gaines M. C. Bettinger 

Waldemar Westergaard 
♦Deceased, September 24, 1918. 



The lion's share of honors for the opening up of the Pacific 
Ocean and the Western Coast of the Americas has been laid, for 
the most part, at the feet of the Spanish pioneers. Both in explora- 
tion and in colonization the names of Cortez and Pizarro, of Coro- 
nado, of the great Jmiipero Serra and of Portola, call to mind 
careers filled with dramatic and spectacular events, and have almost 
overshadowed those of other nationalities. A handful of Englishmen, 
too, — Drake, Cook and Vancouver, — have also been fairly well 
known for their remarkable voyages in the New World. 

On the other hand, the contributions of the third great country 
of Europe, France, — with her numerous voyagers, travelers, 
explorers, scientists, and traders, — to the advancement of the West, 
have been passed by almost in silence, andf it was little known, 
perhaps, how quietly the French entered the Pacific. In particular 
have the permanent and far-reaching results of their voyages been 
lost to view. True, they made few epoch-marking and world- 
renowned discoveries, and they cared not at all for greedy conquests 
by the sword ; instead, they turned their attention mainly to science 
and commerce, and in the course of their investigations they brought 
back to Europe a wealth of scientific information for the benefit of 

Thus, while French expeditions had little value geographically, 
yet for the permanent advancement of science they held a value 
far beyond those of Spain or England. In a broader sense, "they 
have exercised", to quote M. Dahlgren, who has made a minute 
study of this phase of French expansion, "from the point of view of 
politics, finance and commerce, considerable influence".^ 

The causes for the relatively light role France played in the 
early opening of the Pacific Coast are not far to seek. Her strength 
was pretty well absorbed with violent quarrels between Protestants 
and Catholics, with disputes over the succession to the throne, and 
with almost constant wars with Spain, the German States and Eng- 
land. Meanwhile, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, England 
and Spain gained considerable headway in the New World, for it 
was not until the eighteenth century that the name of France 
actually became of consequence in the Pacific. 

1. Dahlgren, M. E. W., Nouvelles Archives. 422. 

"EUes ont exerce au point de vue politique, financier et commercial une influence conside- 

6 Historical Society of Southern California 

Now although, generally speaking, France was a late comer in 
the New World, yet the actual beginning of her interest in the Ameri- 
cas was centuries old. As early as 1509 stories had been circulated 
about the remarkable discovery of a certain French navigator, 
Paulmier de Gonneville, but the actual location of his newly-found 
land was never known, and Tahiti, Madagascar and various parts 
of the Americas were all later mentioned as the mysterious land of 
De Gonneville. Thus, the discovery itself was of doubtful value ; 
nevertheless, it had its immediate effect, for it stimulated a new 
interest in the vaguely known lands in the West. 

A few years after the mythical voyage of De Gonneville, Ma- 
gellan made his famous voyage around the world. This voyage 
was of interest not only to Britishers, but to Frenchmen as well, 
for among his crew were many French sailors, and their stories of 
fabulous wealth and strange sights undoubtedly spurred' France to 
join in the search for the prizes of the New World. But France was 
slow actually to take an active part in affairs in the West. 

For curiously enough throughout the sixteenth century, in spite 
of the Spanish success in the Americas, and the tales of mountains 
of gold and silver to be found there, France gained but slight head- 
way in the Western Hemisphere. Her rival neighbor, Spain, with 
whom she was constantly at war, held a large share of the Americas, 
and France made no attempt to establish colonies in the Pacific. 

There is a record in these early years, however, of a solitary 
French traveler, M. Malherbe, who went, in 1592, to Peru and 
Mexico, and then across the Pacific to China, and whose stories filled 
Henri IV, then monarch of France, with enthusiasm to gain a share 
of the New World wealth. M. Malherbe represented to Henri IV 
how easily this could be done, and he laid down many proposals for 
their easy conquest.- The stories of Vincent Le Blanc, who visited 
the Americas a few years later, again caused Henri IV to harbor 
many a fruitless scheme to gain a share in the New World com- 
merce.^ But nothing ever came of all these plans. 


As a matter of fact, the French flag was first carried into the 
Pacific in quite another manner. Down around the West Indies, in 
the early seventeenth century, French colonies at Tortuga and His- 
paniola had been planted, and in 1622 a joint French and English 
colony was established on St. Christopher's Isle. By the middle of 
that century the French were numerous on these various islands. 
The earlier Spanish settlers were deserting the West Indies, lured 
by the rich gold mines of Peru and Mexico, and the; few that 
remained had started up a traffic in hides, for these islands were 
overrun with cattle. The process of drying hides, or "boucaning", 

2. Dahlgren, M. E. W., "Les relations" 

3. Ibid. 

French Expansion into the Pacific 7 

they had learned from the natives, and they came to be known from 
their occupation as "boucaniers" or buccaneers. Many Frenchmen 
entered the business of boucaning, and soon an illicit traffic in hides, 
— illicit because it aimed to avoid Spanish monopolies which prac- 
tically crushed normal trade, — sprang up, and was carried on with 
French, Spanish, Dutch and English vessels between the various 

Gradually the buccaneers began to broaden the field of their 
activities. They were soon joined by men of all races and creeds, 
outlaws and gentlemen adventurers, and in one instance when the 
West India Company had sold all its French servants to hunters and 
planters who treated them with scant mercy, these servants in a 
body joined the buccaneers and became freebooters. They were 
united only by one bond, an intense hatred of Spanish monopoly ; 
and, "linked to one virtue and a thousand crimes", they gained 
notoriety as unscrupulous marauders, and so boldly harassed the 
peace-loving planters and traders that the French government tried 
to put a stop to their lawless activities. But the buccaneers cared 
not at all for the hand of authority and fled in a body to the South 
Seas. The French' westward movement into the Pacific may be 
said to begin at this point, and with war on between France and 
Spain they had free rein for the next few years ,' there was no 
restraint on their conduct, and with a "No peace beyond the line" 
policy, they began to plunder around Honduras, Guatemala and 
Mexico, even extending their activities through the Straits and up 
the coast to the rich Peruvian towns. Some of these buccaneers 
were never more than illicit traders, but others were outlaws of the 
worst order. 

Among the Frenchmen, Pierre le Grand was one of the most 
famous of buccaneers. He was a clever exploiter and made one 
really brilliant capture. With only a small ship, four nearly useless 
guns and twenty men he bagged a richly-laden galleon. The story 
runs that the captain of this Spanish galleon had been warned of 
the pirate's boat but paid no attention, and only remarked, "And 
what then? Shall I be afraid of so pitiful a thing? No, though she 
were as good a ship as my own". He went down to play cards in 
his cabin and there the buccaneers easily overpowered him.* Le 
Grand was wise enough to be content with the fortune in gold bars 
which he took from the galleon, and retired to France to live the 
life of a French gentleman of leisure. But his success aroused 
envy in the breasts of his less fortunate friends, and there was soon 
a rush of hunters and planters to join in this lucrative game. 

Two other famous French leaders, Grogniet and' L'Escuyer, 
commanding an expedition of two hundred French and English 
buccaneers, have also acquired some notoriety for their successful 

4. L2ves and Voyages of the Early Navigators, with a History of the Bucamers, (1832) 174 

8 Historical Society of Southern California 

exploitations.'^ They sailed up the Western coast of South America 
and fell in with a second group of plunderers under Le Picard, de 
Lussan and Des Marais, and together scoured' the coast from Chile 
to California, lying in wait behind small islands for rich galleons, 
pillaging coast towns, and relieving indig^nant Spaniards of superflu- 
ous gold. 

The Spanish, it can be readily understood, regarded their very 
name with loathing. One of the leaders of Grogniet's expedition, 
Raveneau de Lussan, has left a fascinating account of the "Voyages 
of the Filibusters in the South Seas in 1687", and relates there, with 
some resentment, the stories told by the Spanish priests about these 
buccaneers. "These fathers", de Lussan complains with bitterness, 
"feel such keen hatred toward us that they persuade the people who 
have never seen filibusters, that we are formed like monkeys, and 
that we eat women and little children"." 

But there was yet another type of the French buccaneers, the 
cruel and barbarous marauders who cared not so much for Spanish 
gold as for Spanish blood, and the deeds of Lolonnois and Montbar, 
desperate pirates of the worst order, brought shame to the name of 
France. Others were rather gentlemen adventurers, out for a lark, 
who had left their homes for the sheer love of adventure. But the 
life of a pirate was at best a gamble, and "fortune was seldom con- 
stant", quarrels were many, and earning a living was, to say the 
least, precarious ; so that after 1690 many of them quitted the South 
Seas. After the peace of Ryswick, in 1697, and the end of war 
between Spain and France, the days of the buccaneers were definitely 
ended. For half a century they had sailed the seas, but they had 
brought no credit to the name of France. Yet they had accomplished 
something, for they brought back to France a knowledge of the 
Spanish hold in the West and they had explored the Pacific Coast 
as far north as Lower California. 


The westward movement of the buccaneers into the South Seas 
was in full swing by 1680, but many years before that time the 
stories that were circulated in France by the pirates who had re- 
turned there to enjoy the fruits of their plunder, were the indirect 
cause of French attempts to seek new fields for their produce in 
the wealthy Spanish towns along the Pacific Coast. For over a 
century now, Spain had been quietly exploiting Mexico and Peru, 
but her policy had been to "keep secret all her activities in the New 
World", and Europe had little actual knowledge of how firmly she 

5. Burney, James, A Chronolootcal History of the Voyages ar'd Discoveries in the South 
Sea from the year 1620 to the year 'l68S. London, 1813. See Vol. IV. 48-58. 

6. De Lussan, Raveneau, Journal, 187. 

"Ces padres nous portent une si forte haine qu'ils persuadent aux eux qui n'ont jamais vu 
de Flibustiers, que nous etions faits comme des singes, et que nous mangeons des femmes et 
les petits enfants." 

French Expansion into the Pacific 9 

was entrenched there. The buccaneers had brought this information 
home to France. 

The first actual French project that had in view the building 
up of trade relations with the Pacific Coast — for the buccaneers had 
neither the consent nor approval of the crown — took form under the 
direction of Colbert, the Minister under Louis XIV, who created 
in 1664, the "Compagnie des Indes Orientales", with the privilege 
of exclusive rights to trade in the extreme Orient and in the Pacific.'^ 
But nothing ever came of it. In 1667, a private expedition under 
Jean Baptiste de la Feuillarde, started around the Horn and headed 
for the Moluccas, but it was wrecked near the Straits. 

The first French expedition, financed by the Crown, set sail 
for the South Seas in 1695. Le Comte de Gennes had listened to 
the stories of the buccaneer Masertie and persuaded the Crown to 
undertake a voyage under his command, but after passing through 
the Straits they were forced to turn back because of poor wind's 
and a shortage of food.^ A few years after this, French plans took 
a more concrete shape. It will be remembered that a few years 
after the beginning of the seventeenth century there was a brisk 
expansion of trade, through the medium of great trading companies, 
Dutch, Portuguese and English. 

With a similar end in view, the French Jesuits who had returned 
from a successful trip to China, conceived the plan of a French 
company to trade in the far Pacific. Backed by the Crown and 
financed by many of the nobility, the "Compagnie Royale de la Mer 
Pacifique" was formed in 1698 with letters patent. Its aim was 
threefold, — to colonize, explore, and seek commerce. The Crown 
granted to it certain exclusive rights "to have the sole commercial 
privileges for thirty years, to the exclusion of our other subjects, 
on the shores and on the islands of the South Pacific not occupied 
by the other European powers".® 

De Gennes, who had some knowledge of conditions in the 
Pacific, organized the expedition, which was originally composed 
of seven ships and 689 men ; however, he did not sail with the 
party, and the expedition was headed by M. de Gouin and M. de 
Terville. In 1699 they reached the isle of Louis le Grand, near the 
Straits of Magellan, and chose a site for a colony, while a second 
group pushed up the coast toward Peru. But this second group 
fared ill, for the Peruvians, taking them for buccaneers, refused to 
trade with them. But although not entirely successful, this expedi- 
tion marked the beginning of a definite French movement authorized 
by the Government into the Pacific. 

The peace of Ryswick, in 1697, had ended war between Spain 

7. Dahlgren, Nouvelles Archives, 424. 

8. Dahlgren, Les Relations, 101. 

9. Ibid., 120. 

10 Historical Society of Southern California 

and France, and the treaty made it possible for the French mer- 
chants openly to enter the Pacific. At this same time, two French 
merchants succeeded in breaking into the French trade and the 
success of their purely commercial enterprise, "Compagnie de la 
Mer du Sud", under M. Beauchesne, encouraged the merchants 
of France to enter the Pacific/" But since the treaty of Ryswick 
forbade any commercial enterprises by the Crown, Louis XV did 
not dare openly to disobey, but many merchants went out with the 
secret support of the Crown, and under the pretext of "to make 

All this was changed in 1700. With a grandson of Louis XV 
on the Spanish throne, the doors of the Pacific were flung wide open 
to the French, who rushed there to search for commerce, protect 
the shores from England, and to study science.^- With the seas 
opened, traffic expanded, and French merchants went up to Peru, 
and then often across to China to market their wares. The importa- 
tion of gold from Lima, begun by M. Chabert in 1708, brought a 
sudden wave of prosperity to France, and an interest in a new 
industry, but Louis XIV, in 1712, abruptly prohibited navigation 
in the South Seas to show his good will before the peace of LTtrecht. 
Yet even after this peace, a clandestine traffic went on, and many 
French ships sailed from France to Peru, across to China and back 
again, with goods for the Spanish colonies. So serious did it grow 
that an Ordinance was passed in 1716, ordering all captains indulging 
in this contraband traffic to be put to death, and by 1724 French 
commerce in the South Seas came to an end.^^ 

This brief period of French trade had a very definite value, for 
it put into circulation in France a vast amount of money, estimated 
as high as 250 millions of francs. But on the other hand, since 
the cargoes were so very valuable, little efifort was made to find 
new routes, or to explore or extend the knowledge of the New 


From this time on, a third class of voyages, a class distinct 
from the filibusters, who had pretty well disappeared, and from the 
sporadic commercial expeditions, now began to appear in the Pacific, 
and to bring results of a more substantial nature to the name of 
France. These were the scientific expeditions — well-equipped, well- 
manned — whose aim was first and foremost to gather scientific 
data, and secondly, to explore unknown parts of the Pacific. They 
represent the spirit of France at her best, and reached their height 
in the famous voyage of La Perouse. 

These voyages began in the early eighteenth century, and since 
French ships, for geographical reasons, skirted South America, 

10. Dahlgren, Nouvelles Archives, 425. 

n. Ibid. 

12. Guerin, Leon, Les Navigateurs Franfais, 426. 

13. Dahlgren, Nouvelles Archives, 428. 

French Expansion into the Pacific 11 

the discovery and naming of many of the South Sea Islands fell 
to them, since Spain had entered the Pacific by way of Panama, 
and was engrossed in the search for gold, to the neglect of explo- 

Among the first of these scientific expeditions was one sent out 
by Louis XIV under Louis Feuille, who went to the Peruvian and 
Chilean coasts to make topographical maps of those places. Five 
years later, M. Frezier, an officer of engineers, was also sent by 
Louis XIV to Peru, for the French monarch was eager for informa- 
tion as to the extent of the possessions of his powerful neighbor, 
Spain, in the New World. The spirit of the Spanish colonists is 
illustrated by the fact that Frezier, in order to gain any first-hand 
knowledge of conditions, did not dare go as the representative of 
the French Crown, but went in the guise of a simple trader. He 
returned to France with records of "the animals, plants, fruit and 
metals", so he tells us, "and whatsoever the earth produces of 
curious in the richest colonies in the world, and, lastly, a most 
exact account of the commerce, force, government and manners 
as well of the Creolian Spaniards as of the natives of the country".^* 
Up to this time, many French traders had circumnavigated the 
globe, but it was Bougainville who first accomplished this feat 
under the auspices of the Crown, and for this reason it has frequently 
been said that he was the first Frenchman to sail round' the world. 
Bougainville had seen something of the world, for he had fought 
under Montcalm in Canada, and had seen France lose the flower 
of her colonies to England. So after the war he proposed to 
compensate France for her old colonies by locating new ones. In 
1764 he established, at his own expense, a colony of about 25 
persons at Faukland Island, which he proposed to make a stopping 
place for vessels going to the South Seas. 

However, Bougainville's claim to fame rests rather on Itis 
discoveries in the South Sea group. There he discovered and 
mapped Oumaitia, 1' Archipel Bourbon, Isles des Navigateurs, Les 
Cyclades, as well as many of the smaller groups of islands ; and he 
also located a new and shorter route to the Moluccas. He has left, 
in particular, interesting descriptions of Tahiti (which he named 
New Cythere), and he was especially impressed by the fine appear- 
ance and manners of the natives. He found them also of extra- 
ordinary health and thought it is because "vegetables and fish are 
their main diet and they rarely eat meat ; children and young girls 
never eat it, and this diet without doubt does much to exempt them 
from all our illnesses". Bougainville spent his time mainly in the 
South Seas, and visited neither the Sandwich group nor California, 
yet his discoveries have given him a rank second only to that of the 
great La Perouse, who followed him by a few years. 

In the meantime, by the overland route, a few travelers reached 

14. Frezier, M., A Voyage to the South Sea, A2. Jonah Bowyer, London, MDCCXVII. 

12 Historical Society of Southern California 

the coast by way of Louisiana and Mexico. M. Pages sailed from 
Acapulco for China, and has left a few records of reports of the 
Spanish colony, California. The "Voyage en Californie", in 1769, 
written by M. Chappe D'Auteroche, a member of the Royal Academy 
of Science, who went to Lower California to observe the transit 
of Venus, gives interesting accounts of life at San Joseph mission. 

A few years after the death of D'Auteroche at San Joseph 
mission, the remarkable voyages of a daring Englishman, Captain 
Cook, spurred the French to a new interest in the South Seas, for 
the famous Cook had brought fresh laurels to the English Crown, 
and across the channel Louis XVI coveted a share in the exploration 
of the great new West. So under the auspices of the Crown, 
what was hoped would be a record-breaking voyage of investigation 
was planned, and an able Frenchman, Comte Jean Frangois de la 
Perouse, was chosen to command this projected voyage. 

La Perouse was well-fitted to command the expedition. His 
wide and varied experience in the Hudson Bay region had trained 
him for the hazards of unknown lands, and his success at war had 
proved his ability as a leader. He had also the gift of inspiring 
confidence and optimism in his associates, and of conducting afifairs 
with a diplomatic smoothness. The voyage was ostensibly under 
the patronage of the French Crown, but behind it stood the entire 
French Academy, undoubtedly its directing genius. On them fell 
the task of organizing, arranging and equipping, of drawing up 
intricate detailed plans, and minute instructions, of collecting data 
on all that was known of the New World and of carefully choosing 
the best available scientists to accompany La Perouse. Through 
the influence of the Academy the best-known scientific men of the 
day, each an expert in his special line, were chosen to represent 
the Academy on this expedition. Now the Academy aimed, in 
sending out these men, to collect information along many lines, — 
to investigate, in the New World, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, 
astronomy, geography, geometry, zoology and botany as well as 
the manners and customs of the natives. The expedition also took 
with them the best obtainable equipment in the form of books on 
exploration and science, and of instruments for conducting intricate 
experiments, and nothing was spared that might contribute to the 
success of the undertaking. 

The general purpose of this voyage has been clearly set forth 
in the parting address of the French Minister of Foreign AfiFairs to 
La Perouse. The object, first of all, was to make extensive investi- 
gations ; for "the islands of the great ocean", read the instructions, 
"oflfer little in the line of politics or commerce to record ; but La 
Perouse should try mainly to study the climate and every kind of 
product in the different islands where he stops; to understand the 
customs and manners of the natives, their form of worship, method 
of government, manner of warfare, their weapons, ships, distinctive 

French Expansion into the Pacific 13 

characteristics, and what they have in common with other savage 
nations or with civihzed peoples"/^ La Perouse was also requested 
to "make known all facts bearing on politics or commerce, which 
should especially he taken into consideration, so that this expedition, 
ordered by His Majesty, while aiming to perfect geography and to 
spread navigation, should, at the same time keep in mind any 
prospects which might be of interest to the Crown, or useful to its 
subjects".^'' The search for the Northwest passage, which the French 
Academy still believed to exist, was to be undertaken. "You will 
search'V^ ran the directions, "with the greatest care ... for 
some river or gulf . . . which might connect with some part 
of Hudson Bay". The extent of the Spanish possessions in CaUfornia 
was also' to be investigated by La Perouse, as comparatively little 
was known about them in Europe, outside of Spain,^^ for the Spanish 
policy had been "to keep secret all their operations in America". ^^ 

The objectives then appear to be exceptionally noteworthy. To 
accomplish in the minimum of time so vast an undertaking, reaching 
to unknown and untouched corners of the globe, a methodically 
arranged schedule had been prepared by the French Academy, giving 
approximate dates at which each country was to be reached. The 
voyage was scheduled to cover four years, and a course, which had 
never before been taken, was laid out, for "The object shall be to 
follow, in the different seas", relates the record left by La Perouse, 
"the routes which have not been followed by any navigators which 
have preceded him ; this course has appeared advisable since it is 
more certain to multiply discoveries, and to advance considerably in 
this voyage the great work of the complete description of all the 

15. La Perouse, de. Voyage autour du Monde, I, 24 (Paris, 1798). 

"Les isles du grand Ocean equatorial offrerent peu d'observations a faire relativement a la 
politique et au commerce." "Le sieur de la Perouse s'attachera principalement a etudier le 
climat et les productions en tout genre des differents isles de cet Ocean oil il aura aborde a 
connaitre les moeurs et les usages des naturels du pays, leur culte, la fbrme de leur gouverne- 
ment, leur maniere de faire la guerre, leurs armes, leurs batiments de mer, le charactere dis- 
tinctif de chaque peuplade, ce qu'elles peuvent avoir de commun avec d'autres nations sauvages 
et avec les peuples civilises." 

16. Ibid. 

". . . faire connaitre dans celle-ci les objets relatifs a la politique et au commerce, qui 
doivent occuper particulierement son attention dans ses differents rejaches, afin que_ I'expedi- 
tion que sa majeste a ordonnee, en contribuant a perfectionner la geographic et a etendre la. 
navigation, puisse egalement remplir sans d'autres rapports, les vues qu'elle s'est proposees 
pour I'interet de la couronne et I'utilite de ses sujets." 

17. La Perouse. I, 16. 

"11 cherchera avec le plus grand soin, si, dans les parties qui ne sont pas encore con- 
nues, il ne se trouveront pas quelque riviere, quelque golfe resserrc qui put ouvrir par les lacs 
de I'interieur, une communication avec quelque partie de la bale de Hudson." 

18. La Perouse, I, 28. 

"II paratt que I'Espagne a eu I'intention d'etendre son titre de possession jusqu'au port de 
los Remedies, ver le 57 degre un quart de latitude ; mais rien n'annonce qu'en le faisant visiter 
en 1775, elle y ait forme aucun etablissement, non plus qu'au port de Bucarelli, situe a environ 
deux degres moins au nord autant qu'il est possible d'en juger par les relations de ces pays 
qui sont parvenues en France, la possession active de I'Espagne ne s'etend pas au-dessus des 
ports de San Diego et de Monterey, oii elle a fait elever de petits forts gardes par des detache- 
ments qu'on y a fait passer de la Californie ou du nouveau Mexique." 

19. ". . . . de tenir secretes toutes ses operations en Amerique." Journal of Pilot Maurelle 
in La Perouse, I. 

14 Historical Society of Southern California 

countries of the world". ^° In the word's, "complete descriptions of 
all the countries of the world", may be found the key to the object 
of the voyage. 

La Perouse had instructions to head north to Christenas Sound 
and Drake's Bay, after passing the Cape, then to cross west to 
Tahiti, visited a few years before by Bougainville, and to explore 
the neighboring islands, including the Society group. New Zealand 
and the Sandwich Isles. From there the ships were to sail across 
to California and explore the northern coast line as far up as 
Bering's Bay ; and to map a route across the Northern Pacific past 
the Aleutian Islands to the Kurile group. This region around 
Northern Siberia was but vaguely known virgin land, for "all these 
coasts", reported the French Academy, "are absolutely unknown to 
Europeans".-^ The return( trip was to be made down past the 
Chinese and Manila coasts, then by way of the Cape of Good Hope 
back to France. Such a trip would today be considered stupendous.- 
What must it have been over a century and a quarter ago ? Un- 
known countries, strange peoples, unforseen dangers, untrustworthy 
ships, made such a journey, in the late eighteenth century, full of 

In the year 1785, the two ships La Boussole and L'Astrolobe set 
sail from France. After passing safely through the dangerous 
Straits of Magellan, they stopped at Conception, Chile, their first 
port of call. The colonists there gave a grand ball in honour of 
the visiting Frenchmen, who were ardent admirers of the charms 
and beauty of the Spanish ladies. These observant travelers were 
also amazed at the prosperity and industry of Chile, and of the 
strength of the Spanish hold there, but they seemed to detect under 
this apparent prosperity, indications of weakness. La Perouse 
was of the opinion that the Spaniards had but a superficial hold on 
the natives, and "one of the surest ways of advancing the ruin of 
the afifairs of Spain", he wrote in his diary at the time, "is to form 
a league with the Indians, for those Indians who are called friends 
and allies by the Spanish will not hesitate to join such a league".^^ 
"With the assistance of European Arms", he continues, "this group 
would be, I think, so dangerous to Spain that it vvould bear witness 
to the ruin of their establishments, the devastation of their posses- 
sions, and to even put their lives in danger, so that the Spanish 

20. La Perouse, I, 53. , ,^, _, ..... 

"On a eu pour objet de lui faire suivre, dans les differents mers, des routes qui n aient ete 
suivres par aucun des navigateurs qui I'ont precede: cette marche a pani la plus sure pour 
multiplier les dccouvertes et avancer considerablement dans ce voyage, le grand ouvrage de la 
description complete du globe terrestre." 

21 ". . . . toutes ces cotes sont absolument inconnues aux Europeens. 

22. La Perouse, IV. 118. . j r^ • j ,.p j i 

"Mais un des plus surs moyens d'avancer la rume des affaires de 1 tspagne dans le 
Chili, c'est de former des liasons avec des Indiens Arancos et de Tancapali ; a ceux-ci se join- 
draient bientot ceux de Cordilieres ; et ceux que les Espagnols appellent leurs aniis et leurs 
allies ne tarderaient guere a entrer dans cette confederation. Assistee par les lumieres et les 
armes europeennes cette ligue serait, jc crois, si dangereuse pour I'Espagne, que pour ne pas 
etre temoins de la ruine de leurs etablissments, de la devastation de leurs possessions et_ pour 
mettre leur propre vie a couvert, les Espagnols se verraient obliges de tout abandonner. 

French Expansion into the Pacific 15 

would' soon be obliged to abandon everything". La Perouse spent 
but little time in Chile. This southern land was soon left behind, 
and for the next two months the expedition explored, as fully as 
their time-schedule allowed, various South Sea islands. Some 
time was also spent at the Sandwich group, where the great English 
navigator Cook had met so unhappy an end. 

The;' original schedule was now altered to take advantage of 
favoring winds, and the ships were headed toward the Northwest. 
Snow-covered Mount Saint Elias was sighted in June, 1786, and 
anchor was dropped in Bering's Bay. In the course of his explo- 
rations around the vicinity of Bering's Bay, La Perouse discovered 
a new and excellent harbor, which he named the "Port des 
Frangais". But even with an excellent harbor, and plenty of native 
trades. La Perouse opposed the idea of any French factory or port 
in this far-away land, with its severe climate, and scanty natural 
resources. He feared, too, that the proximity of the Russians and 
Spaniards might cause international complications that would out- 
weigh the advantage of the lucrative fur trade. La Perouse spent 
most of his stay here gathering all possible information concerning 
the activities of other nations along the coast, as well as investigating 
the type of Indian life in these northern regions, with their char- 
acteristic manners, customs and peculiarities. 

From there La Perouse investigated the country in the vi'cinity 
of Port Remedios, the Bay and Isles of Cook, and next sailed 
south to Saint Carlos and Cape> Hector, carefully searching the 
thousands of inlets for the as yet undiscovered "Northwest Passage", 
which Maldonado, in 1588, claimed to have located, and Fuente, 
fifty years after, also declared existed. La Perouse, too, felt certain 
that such a passage existed, but he considered that the claims of 
these earlier navigators were untrustworthy, and that this passage 
lay somewhere between the Port of Los Remedios and Cape Hector, 
But since he could not spare further time to explore the numerous 
inlets in that region, and since winter was closing in, the ships headed 
down the coast toward the warmer southland. 

In September, 1786, Monterey was reached. There the ships 
dropped anchor, enshrouded in one of the proverbially dense fogs 
for which Monterey Bay is famous. The expedition attracted great 
attention, for these were the first French ships to reach this Spanish 
settlement in California. When their arrival was generally known, 
Pedro Pages, at that time Governor of California, gave them a royal 
welcome, and every chance was given them to observe the results 
of the Spanish system of colonization. The observations made by 
La Perouse and his associates at this time have been preserved 
in detail, and they throw an interesting light on these early Spanish 
settlements. Though their visit lasted only a brief ten days, yet the 
range and magnitude of their observations was surprising. 

They were especially interested in the California Indians, and 

16 Historical Society of Southern California 

their comments on them are worth noting. These natives, to the 
French scientists, appeared weak and small, lacking in spirit, love 
of independence and liberty. They were indolent and lazy, and 
seemed to show skill and intelligence only in hunting. These 
Frenchmen were especially interested at the cunning manner in 
which the Indians approached their prey, and "we saw an Indian", 
one of them wrote, "with the head of a stag attached to his own 
head, crawling along, pretending to eat grass, until he came close 
enough to a deer to kill it with small arrows". 

But in many ways the natives were naturally indolent in spite 
of the fact that surprising results had been wrought among them 
by the Franciscan padres, who, the Frenchmen felt, had shown 
pious and wise conduct in dealing with such unpromising material, 
for it was only by increasing efforts that any steps toward civilizing 
them had been made. The number of conversions made by the 
good padres was on the increase, yet all these converts had to be 
kept under the rigid rule of the padres, who feared to give them 
much freedom. A system of colonies was used iui dealing with 
them. After a group had been converted they were formed into 
a colony, whose center was the mission. The fathers acted not 
only as their spiritual and temporal guides, but also as regulators 
of the minutest details of life of their Indian flock. So docile did 
the Indians become, under the guidance of these kindly padres, 
that they patiently submitted to a daily schedule of seven hours of 
work and two hours of prayer — a rather rigid regime after the 
carelessly indolent lives they had been accustomed to lead. The 
padres sternly enforced all rules and regulations by corporal 
punishment, and even chains were used, in extreme necessity, to 
bring the offender back to the path of virtue. Little freedom was 
permitted to the Indians. An occasional hunting! or fishing trip 
was about all, and they led a closely restricted life. Yet the fathers 
apparently held the esteem and veneration of their converts, who 
were loyal, affectionate and ready to obey their spiritual and tem- 
poral guides. The center of this patriarchal community was, of 
course, the chapel. When the French travelers first entered the 
house of worship at Monterey they were amazed at its lavish decora- 
tions, for there, in a Western wilderness, was a chapel ornamented 
with gorgeous paintings, copies of well-known originals in Italy, and 
in a prominent place was exhibited an enormous tableau picturing 
heaven and hell, placed there, no doubt, to stir the imagination of 
those Indians who might be backward in visual imagery. 

With the characteristic thoroughness of the true man of science, 
the Frenchmen gave careful consideration to the condition of the 
Indian converts. However, while they praised thei work of the 
fathers, they did not feel that the results of the evangelization of 
the Indians were ultimately of value, for 'T swear that more a 
friend of the rights of man than theologian" was the verdict of the 

French Expansion into the Pacific 17 

Frenchmen on this Spanish system, "I should have desired that to 
the principles of Christianity they had joined a legislation which, 
little by little, could have made citizens of the men whose state does 
not differ from that oi the negroes of our most humanely governed 
colonies".-^ Perhaps, they concluded, this system had been adopted 
for powerful' reasons of state, with the object of extending the 
Spanish interests further north. 

These Frenchmen were much interested, also, in the natural 
resources of California, since the richness and fertility of the 
country were not generally known. The records of La Perouse 
furnished the first information France had, taken from actual 
observation, of California, but he saw little of the country below 
Monterey, nor was he informed by the Spanish of their outposts 
in the South. The missionaries had taken but slight advantage of 
the possibilities of the fertile soils around Monterey, and outside of 
growing some few grains and vegetables, they had made but few 
experiments along agricultural lines. La Perouse realized that many 
kinds of grains, vegetables, and fruit trees could easily be raised, and 
he gave the padres new seeds for experimental use. California also is 
indebted to him for the introduction of the potato, which he brought 
with him from Chile. 

The fur trade, too, was of interest to the Frenchmen. La 
Perouse estimated that twenty thousand skins a year were available 
for exportation from California to China, where the Chinese man- 
darins furnished an almost unlimited demand for valuable skins. 
Although the Spanish and Russian traders were already collecting 
pelts up and down the coast from Kamchatka to jMonterey, yet La 
Perouse felt that there was also a wide field there for private 
French companies. He did not advise the French Government 
to establish a factory, however, since he considered that this trade 
would be more valuable in the hands of private French merchants. 

The final opinion of these voyagers on the future of California 
was that "probably one) or two centuries will pass", they falsely 
prophesied, "before these Spanish settlements, located in Northern 
California, will hold the attention of any great maritime powers".-* 

During the brief ten days in which the Frenchmen carried on 
their investigations at Monterey, an immense amount of data was 
collected. The reports later sent to France included records made 
in astronomy, medicine, indigenous flora and fauna, geological 
formations, zoology, Indian life, trade conditions. Spanish methods 
of colonization, and many other subjects. The accuracy and thor- 

23. La Perouse, II, 282. 

"J'auvoue que, plus amis des droits de rhomme que theologien, j'aurais desire qu'aux prin- 
cipes du christianisme on eut joint une legislation qui peu a peu eiit rendu citoyens des honimes 
dont I'etat ne differe presque pas aujourd'hui de celui des negres des habitations de nos colo- 
nie, regies avec le plus de douceur et de I'humanite." 

24. Ihid., II, 122. 

"II s'ecoulera probablement un siecle et peut-etre deux, avant que les etablissements Espa- 
gnols, situes au nerd de la presqu'ile de Californie puissent fixer I'attention des grandes puis- 
sances maritimes." 

18 Historical Society of Southern California 

oughness of this work made it of inestimable value in Europe, and 
its worth was due largely to the superior type of scientists who 
accompanied La Perouse. 

Their visit came to an end on Sept. 24, 1786, and the Frenchmen 
now headed westward toward the Orient. The course was laid 
past the shores of Northern China, Siberia and up to Saghalien. 
There in this little-known region, and amid unbelievable hardships, 
discoveries of world-wide value were made by this small group 
of exployers, — the discovery of Yesso, the location of several islands 
north of Japan, and the navigable routes as far as the Bay of 
Avatscha were mapped. At Okhotsk, a Russian outpost, the French- 
men spent some time on shore. 

From this point M. Lesseps, a member of the expedition, was 
sent overland through Siberia and Russia to Paris to take to the 
French Government the records made by the expedition up to this 
point. It was here at Okhotsk that Lesseps learned of certain 
English and Russian plans that were under way to monopolize 
the fur trade on the Pacific. The Russians, who were even then 
building ships, obviously intended to expand their trade, for "the 
Russians", so it seemed to the Frenchmen, "are as greedy for furs 
as the Spanish are for money, and have for a long time undertaken 
in the world long and difficult voyages in order to procure valuable 
sable and fox skins, and it has seemed to them easy to subject 
the natives of these countries to a tribute after subjecting them".^^ 
The encroachment of Russia on the Pacific seemed to La Perouse 
to foreshadow unpleasant results because of the dominating and 
arrogant spirit displayed by that nation. 

After a short stay in this region the expedition turned south- 
ward and visited Korea, China and the Philippines. Again La 
Perouse noticed the apparent weakness and corruption of Spanish 
rule — this time in their Manila colony. But little time was spent 
there, and the ships did not again drop anchor until Botany Bay, 
on the southeast coast of Australia, was reached. Letters sent from 
there proved that the party had reached this point safely, but some 
unknown accident befell the expedition, for nothing was ever heard 
of them again. Apparently all disappeared in this vicinity, perhaps 
killed by treacherous natives, or lost in some great storm. The 
French Government sent out searching parties from France, and 
for two years ships scoured the region around Botany Bay, but no 
trace of them was ever found. Yet the bulk of their records, sent 
by M. Lesseps, from Okhotsk, were preserved, and comprising as 
they did voluminous information concerning every country that 
had been visited, they brought to Europe a wealth of knowledge. 

25. La Perouse, III, 20. 

"Les Russes, aussi avides de pelleteries que les Espagnols d'or et d'argent, ont depuis 
tres longtemps, entrepris par terre les voyages les plus longs et plus difficiles pour se procurer 
de precieuses depouilles des zibelins et des renards. etc. ; il leur a paru plus commode d'assu- 
jetter les indigenes a un tribut, en les subjugant." 

French Expansion into the Pacific 19 

This voyage was certainly the high-water mark of French discovery 
in the Pacific. 

By this time Europe was clearly awake to the opportunities 
offered by the fur trade on the Pacific Coast, and many a nation 
coveted the privilege of supplying pompous Chinese mandarins 
with luxurious furs. The French merchants were, in turn, deeply 
interested in learning of any opportunities to break into this valuable 
traffic, and a private concern sent out M. Etienne Marchand to 
investigate the possibilities in the fur trade for French merchants."® 
Marchand left France in 1790. He did some exploring en route, 
and discovered and named several unknown islands, around the 
Society group. West of the Mendocas he discovered the "Isle 
Marchand", and an excellent port, which he called "Baie de Bon 
Accueil", or "Welcome Bay". He took possession of it in the name 
of the French Government. But his main object was fur trade; 
and sailing past California, he went up to the center of the fur 
country, near Nootka Sound and Queen Charlotte's Island, and then 
returned to Hawaii, continuing from there across the Pacific and 
back to France. His was the second French voyage around the 
world, for, with the exception of some few sea captains who carried 
on an illicit traffic between Peru and China, no French voyagers, 
with the exception of Bougainville's, had circumnavigated the globe. 

The eighteenth century closes with California probably only 
once visited by a Frenchman, La Perouse, and slight as the French 
contributions to the knowledge of the New World were, yet the 
results were not fruitless. French voyages were valuable, "since", as 
M. Dahlgren expresses it, "the eyes of the world were opened to the 
absurd oppression of the Spanish policy, and a Chilean author", he 
adds, "has considered that the French navigators of the early eight- 
eenth century were among the precursors of South American inde- 


During the first years of the nineteenth century few French 
ships appeared in the Pacific, but after the Napoleonic wars were 
well over in Europe, commercial relations with America again 
started up, and many vessels flying the French flag put in at the 
ports along the California Coast. Some of the voyages were for 
scientific purposes ; others were purely commercial, seeking in par- 
ticular to open up new markets for French wines, cloths and silks 
in Peru and CaHfornia, — for French trade had been nearly annihi- 
lated by the war, — and, if possible, to break into the lucrative fur 

26. Marchand. Etienne, A Voyage around the world in 1790-91-92. A Collection of Voy- 
ages and Travels from the Discovery of America to the commencement of the nineteenth cen- 
tury. Vol. XIII, p. 83 (London, 1910). ., o .. 

27. Dahlgren, Voyages Franfats, in Nouvelles Archives des Missions Sctenttfiques et Lit- 
teraires. Vol. XIV, p. 439. ". . . Un auteur chilien a compte les marins franjai* du debut 
du XVIIIir siecle parmi les precurseurs de la liberie sud-americaine." 

20 Historical Society of Southern California 

These ventures were, in the main, personally undertaken. In 
1816, M. Roquefeuil, inspired by the voyage of the merchant 
Marchand a few years earlier, sent at his own expense an expedition 
to investigate the fur trade for the benefit of his fellow countrymen. 
In August, 1817, Roquefeuil put into the Bay of Yerba-Buena, 
or San Francisco Bay. His visit was an event of considerable 
importance, for "no French vessel", so the Spaniards told him, 
"had ever before entered their port".'^ The crew were most cour- 
teously treated by Don Louis Arguello, then Governor, and taken 
by him to visit the Presidio, about five miles away. The Frenchmen 
were not greatly impressed by the country nor by the Spanish set- 
tlements, and "the road from the Presidio to the mission", wrote 
Roquefeuil, "is over sand hills which produce only a coarse vegeta- 
tion, ferns, stunted trees, pines, oaks, and hollies. This part is still 
more arid than the neighborhood of our anchoring place". ^^ Roque- 
feuil did not feel that California had many prospects of a valuable 
trade, and he reported, upon his return to France, that Peru offered 
the best market for French silks and wines. 

Yet the French continue, in the next few years, to play a part 
in the opening of the Pacific, and under the auspices of the Royal 
Marine, an expedition was sent out in 1818, under M. Louis de 
Freycinet. His plan and aim was, so he tells us, "to increase the 
wealth of our (the French) collection of natural history, and to 
study the magnetic force, hydrography, meteorology, to make maps 
and charts and to investigate the development of agriculture and 

His voyage was important, for although he did not touch at 
California, he did make collections of records, pictures and many 
available manuscripts of the Islands of Guam, the Mariannes, 
Hawaii, New Guinea and New South Wales, where he was more 
or less of a pioneer investigator. He brought back to France many 
collections for the museums, among them thirty-one curious and 
valuable manuscripts. 

M. Duperry, who had been one of Freycinet's companions on the 
"Uranie", a year or so later equipped a ship of his own, "La Co- 
quille", and left, in 1822, to carry on further explorations in the 
South Seas. Like so many Frenchmen before him, he was charmed 
by the simplicity and beauty of Tahiti, with its fine type of native 
and its clean,' wholesome manner of life. They are "a charming 
people", he wrote in his notebook, "who bear in their faces the 
charm of the customs which distinguished them, and these qualities 
are equally noticeable — their morals". ^^ Freycinet made several 
permanent contributions to geography by discovering, in the South 

28. Roquefeuil, Voyages round the World, in New Voyages and Travels, VoL IX, p. 24. 

29. Ibid. 

30. Nouvelles Annates, Vll, 457. 
3L Ibid., XXVI, 275. 

French Expansion into the Pacific 21 

Sea group, the Islands of Clermont, Tonnerre, Augier, Freycinet 
and Lostange. 

About this same time, ]M. Duhaut-Cillys, a trader, spent several 
years along the California Coast, searching for pearl fisheries. He 
left an excellent account of his trip, and his observations on the 
Californians were particularly keen, for "the Californians", in his 
opinion, "are usually strong, vigorous and very quick in their move- 
ments ; unfortunately, they are given to indolence and laziness ; they 
have almost all the faults of civilized men, without possessing their 
virtues. Their favorite occupation is to lasso cattle, hunt bears, 
and to sell the meat and skin, which is their only form of trade ; it 
would seem that their trade would be much greater if they would 
take the pains to cultivate the very fertile soil".^- The lack of 
development of the country and the backwardness of the natives 
was a constant surprise to the Frenchmen, as well as the barren, 
uncultivated country in the vicinity of the port towns. 

From this time on, and especially in the thirties, as the long sea 
voyages from France to California became less dangerous, travelers 
were frequent. Among these visitors, Cyrille La Place and Petit- 
Thouars were perhaps the best known in the early thirties. 

In 1839, Napoleon III sent out an expedition for purposes of 
investigation, the first undertaken by the Crown in the nineteenth 
century. M. Duflot de Mofras was sent out to Mexico City as 
attache to the legation there, with the special mission of visiting 
California and Oregon to "ascertain the chances for commerce and 
the foundation of factories in new lands, and to "clear up the un- 
certain ideas held about the Western coast of New Spain, the two 
Californias and the Russian ports, also Oregon, over which the 
United States and England are disputing", and, lastly, to find out 
"the opportunities for the development of fishing, whaling and 

He visited California in 1841, at a time when momentous changes 
were setting in. The missions were being gradually secularized, but 
the care of the Indians, in many of the missions, was still quietly 
carried on by the indefatigable fathers. The Indians! were well 
cared for, De Mofras concluded, after looking into their lives, and 
he had nothing but praise for these fathers, who knew how to make 
work attractive for their charges, and thus obtain excellent results. 
Knowing only too well that the Indians were unable to understand 
the mysteries of religious dogma, the Franciscans taught only the 
practical side of religion, and tried to develop in their charges the 
moral instinct and a fondness for industry. The fathers had made 
a rapid progress among the Indians, since the visit of La Perouse, 
fifty years earlier, and prosperous villages, well-cultivated and 
irrigated fields had sprung up. In these villages groups of indus- 

32. NouvelUs Annates, XLV. 167. ^ ^ , , „ . w 

33. De Mofras, Duflot, Exploration du Terntoire de I'Oregon, Des Caltformes, etc. Vol. 1. 
Introduction. (Paris, Arthur Bertrand, 1844.) 

22 Historical Society of Southern California 

trious Indians worked under the direction of a leader, who taught 
them the art of agriculture, of forging, of carpentry, and even of 
simple music, while the women of the group were trained in weaving 
and the necessary domestic arts. 

The pueblos, too, De Mofras found, were centers of activity. In 
them had settled the Spaniards to whom many inducements had been 
held out to make their homes in these new colonies. Alvarado, the 
Governor under the Mexican regime, had ofifered very liberal grants 
of land to all new comers. 

Los Angeles left upon De Alofras an impression of extreme pros- 
perity, for a large share of the spoils from the secularization of 
the missions had fallen to the southland, in the form of large 
numbers of sheep and cattle, which were valuable for their export 
trade in hides. The center of this trade was at San Pedro, the outlet 
for Los Angeles and the back country, which gave promise not 
only of agricultural but also of mineral wealth, chiefly of mercury 
and asphalt. Nearly all of the trade, however, was in the hands 
of a progressive foreign element, a situation which, to De Mofras' 
mind, foreshadowed future troubles for Mexico. Practically no 
industries had been established by the rather indolent Spaniards, 
who had been content to exploit the natural resources, rather than 
to exert themselves to build up the country. 

As De Mofras went further north, he realized that the country 
showed more clearly the effects of contact with other nationalities, 
and was beginning to break under it. Many forts were falling into 
disuse from neglect, and those Spaniards who had been exposed to 
foreign influences had absorbed from them not their strength, but 
their weakness. They had developed habits of idleness, luxury and 
easy living. This, added to their inherent indolent tendencies, 
was working havoc among them. The men on the ranches, for 
instance, spent their days drinking and smoking, while the women 
worked in the fields trying to do the men's share of manual labor. 
De Mofras was impressed by the type of the Spanish woman, by 
her bravery and intelligence, and her skill in taming and lassoing 

But the Spaniards were losing their grip on the Pacific Coast, 
and by the forties many foreigners, Swiss, Russians and English, 
were quite firmly established in the West. Since 1812, the Russians 
had been at Fort Ross; and Fort Sutter, near by, was colonized 
by a handful of Americans, while other Americans were just reaching 
the Coast. Spanish influence did not extend much beyond San 
Francisco, and in the northern country, so valuable for its fur trade, 
several countries were attempting to gain a firm foothold. England 
was represented by the Hudson Bay Company, with factories in 
Honolulu, Monterey, San Francisco, Astoria and Vancouver, and 
had an eye on the Western trade, while Russia was active in the 
far north. 

French Expansion into the Pacific 23 

The Oregon territory, which De Mofras, as the representative 
of the French Government, had especial interest in, since he was to 
examine the rival claims of the United States and England for its 
possession, was but sparsely settled, chiefly by the English and 
Americans and a few French missionaries. 

France had no interest in the disputed Oregon territory other 
than an observer, and De Mofras, after examining the rival claims, 
wrote to France that while French sympathies were with the 
United States, yet he was forced, in all justice and reason, to admit 
that the English claims were stronger. 

While there had been but few Frenchmen in Oregon, yet De 
Mofras was surprised to find how far-reaching had been their 
work of Christianizing the Indians. Once when he was traveling 
far into the interior he was amazed to hear a group of Indians 
singing a French hymn as they floated down the river, and he felt 
that perhaps the task of civilization was more valuable than that of 
acquisition, for "the wooden cross of some poor missionary", he 
wrote, has conquered more swords for Spain and France than the 
swords of their best captains".^* And the role of France, he declares, 
should be that of a protector and supporter of the oppressed, rather 
than a usurpator of the rights of others, even though abundant 
chances were open on every side for exploitation. 

The records of De Mofras bring to a close the French expeditions 
along the coast during the Spanish and Mexican regimes, for very 
soon afterwards California passed into the hands of thei United 
States. A survey of the motives and characteristics of these French 
voyages bring out the fact that they were marked by a certain 
loftiness of purpose. Their interests were not first and foremost 
personal, nor commercial, but were humanitarian. When they aimed 
to find new land, it was to add to the world's knowledge of geog- 
raphy. When the goal was scientific, it was for the benefit of all 
science. They had, it was true, an interest in opening up trade, 
but not a trade in the sense of exploitation, nor of infringing on 
the rights of others. Among the more tangible results of French 
voyages which go down in history, have been the discovery and 
naming of many islands and ports from Cape Horn to Alaska. But 
above all, the records of these voyagers have furnished impartial 
and exact records of peoples and countries in every corner of the 

34. De Mofras, Duflot, Voyage, Vol. 11, 421. 

La croix de bois de quelque pauvre religieux avait conquis plus de provinces a I'Espagne 
et a la France que I'epee de leurs meilleurs capitains." 



We are told that Father Kino, in carrying out his magnificent 
scheme of connecting- the Jesuit Missions of Sonora with those of 
Lower Cahfornia, by carrying- them around the head of the Gulf, 
had several times visited the region of the junction of the Gila and 
Colorado rivers. From his time down to the time of the expulsion 
of the Jesuits, efiforts were made to accomplish this same object 
by extending the Missions northward on both sides of the Gulf, 
but a long space of territory was still unoccupied. 

After the Franciscans took possession of Lower California and 
whilef they were preparing to occupy San Diego and Monterey, 
Captain Anza set forth his project of opening a road from the 
frontier of Sonora to the proposed new settlements. His ofifer was 
at first declined, but afterwards, in 1774, under the orders of Viceroy 
Bucareley, he made the trip and, so to speak, opened the road.^ 

The immediate causes of this Anza expedition of 1774 and of 
the selection of the route are closely associated with the name of 
Father Francisco Garces, a friar of the Franciscan College of Santa 
Cruz, at Queretaro, Mexico. By his explorations of 1770 and 1771 
he showed that overland routes existed to both Alta California and 
New Mexico, and that natives of the Gila and Colorado Rivers were 
friendly and desirous of conversion. With Anza and Garces went 
Thomas Eixarch and he and Garces were left on the western bank 
of the river with a few Indian attendants and under protection of 
Palma, a prominent Yuma chieftain, noted for his friendship for 
the white man. During Anza's absence, Eixarch remained on the 
river at or near the site of the modern Fort Yuma, while Father 
Garces traveled up and down the Colorado, to San Gabriel and to 
the Moqui towns, and was well received by all the natives except 
the Moquis. Although his principal object in his journeys of explo- 
ration — the first of which was made in 1768, as will be seen — was the 
saving of souls, his results are of vast importance from the stand- 
point of exploration and of plans for frontier advance. ' 

Taking up his ministry at San Javier del Bac 'in June, 1768, .in 
August Garces started on the first of his "entradas" (as his expedi- 
tions into California were called) of exploration, going as far as the 
Gila. In 1769, he made another unimportant tour as chaplain. In 
1770, he made another entrada, covering from Bac to and along the 

1. Hittell, Hist, of Cal., I, 423-24. 

2. Bancroft, Hist, of Cal., I, 354; Chapman, Founding of Spanish Cal., 145. 


The Neglected Missions of Southern California 25 

Gila and the return to Bac. On this journey he traveled among- the 
Pimas Gileiios and Opas, both of whom gave him a friendly recep- 
tion, and upon his return reported that the Pimas Gileiios were par- 
ticularly clamorous for the Missions that he had promised when he 
visited them in 1768. In 1771, a more important journey was made, 
and the information gained during this journey had a great influence 
on the opinion of the junta which eventually recommended Anza's 
first expedition, and this journey, too, more than any other, helped 
to determine the route of the expedition.^ 

Again, with the Anza expedition of 1774, Garces is found travel- 
ing among the Indians of the Gila-Colorado region. On Anza's 
second expedition, in 1775, with the soldiers and settlers intended 
for San Francisco, Father Garces again accompanied him and also 
two other missionaries from the college at Queretaro, one of them 
Father Eixarch and the other Father Pedro Font. While Father 
Font continued on to Monterey, Father Garces and his companion, 
as has been noted, stopped at the Colorado and undertook to make 
surveys of the region and prepare the minds of the natives for the 
missions. Palma, who had on the previous journeys showed great 
friendship for the white man, on this expedition was flattered by 
Anza, who, in the name of the Viceroy, presented him with a suit 
of clothes and a silver-mounted cane. Thus, arrangements were 
easily made with him for the protection of the Fathers while Anza 
went on. 

Father Garces at once began to examine the country along the 
west bank of the Colorado. On his journeys he 'carried a banner 
having on one side a picture of the Virgin, beaming with celestial 
radiance, and on the other a devil or lost soul writhing in the flames 
of hell. Traveling among the Indians, he unfurled his banner and 
noticed that they expressed approval of the pretty picture of the 
Virgin while they turned with apparent loathing from the other. 
Thus he passed to the north of the Colorado and back again, and 
then to San Gabriel, returning by the way of the San Joaquin Valley. 
After a few other short trips he made his way back to the Sonorian 

Returning from the second Anza expedition, Jan. 3, 1777, Garces 
prepared his diary for submission! to the Viceroy. He indicated 
fourteen or fifteen points on the Gila and Colorado rivers as suitable 
for Missions, but, assuming that the government would not care 
to found more than four — two on the Gila and two on the Colorado 
— he advised suppressing the disused presidios of San Miguel de 
Horcasitas and Buenavista, and the founding of two presidios of 
fifty men each as posts from which a guard of ten men could be 
detailed' for each of the river Missions, "the surrounding natives 

3. Chapman, 146-47. 

4. Hittell, I, 424-25. 

26 Historical Society of Southern California 

being numerous, powerful and warlike", and in this advice Anza 

Eixarch also went back to Sonora with Anza and Garces and was 
followed a little later by Palma, who desired to present in person 
his people's wish for missionaries. Thus, it is seen that these 
returned explorers were all impressed with the importance of found- 
ing on the Colorado one or more Missions under the protection of 
a strong presidio. The Viceroy favored these views also, and 
promised early in 1777 to transfer northward the two disused 
presidios as a protection for the proposed Missions, and recom- 
mended the whole matter to the favorable consideration of Teodoro 
de Croix, the Comandante-General.^ 

The question of Gila-Colorado Missions at this time (1776- 
1777) was one of extreme interest both to the Viceroy and to the 
King. But connected with it were at least three problems : Should 
Missions be placed on the Gila exclusively? Should they be placed 
at the confluence of the Gila and Colorado? And if placed there, 
should they be manned by Dominicans from Lower California or 
Franciscans from Queretaro? It was the opinion of Padre Juan 
Diaz, Governor Crespo of Sonora, the Governor of New Mexico, 
and the Comandante-Inspector that they should be placed mainly 
on the Gila because of the directness of the Pina-New Mexico 
route to Monterey and of the fertility of the Gila land. On sup- 
pressing the presidios of Horcasitas and Buenavista, Diaz and 
Crespo agreed with Garces and Anza, and they also recognized 
the need of a presidio on the Colorado. 

To Comandante-General Teodoro de Croix, however, the idea 
of Gila-Colorado Missions was distinctly unattractive. Not so 
much that he was opposed to the occupation of the rivers but that, 
like Felipe de Neve, he was unsympathetic with priests, and was 
beset by need of economy in administration, so he resolved to 
put into practice on the river boundary of Alta California a scheme 
of "reduction". We find that this attitude of Croix received coun- 
tenance from the college at Queretaro also. In 1777, Fray Morfi, 
a professor of the college, denounced missionary entradas in general 
and instead of entradas advocated soldiers and war. He did not 
even favor the establishment of Missions among the Yumas at 
this time. He would wait for two or three years or until a general 

In the meanwhile, a copy of Father Garces' journal had been 
sent to the King together with a copy of Palma's memorial to the 
Viceroy, in which he asked for missionaries. The King instructed 
Croix to attend to Palma's wishes, as the Viceroy had done, and 
to have the Missions and presidios established, as proposed by 
the friar. "Had these commands been carried out", says Father 

5. Bancroft, I, 355; Richman, CaL Under Spain and Mexico, 129. 

6. Richman, 130-31. 

The Neglected Missions of Southern California 27 

Engelhardt, "the Missions would have been estabhshed on a firm 
basis, and paganism on the Gila and Colorado would have disap- 
peared instead of flourishing for more than a hundred years later ; 
hostile savages would have become peaceful neophytes, many lives 
would have been spared, and millions of dollars would have been 
saved to the governments of Mexico and the United States". But 
as we have seen, Croix was in no hurry to execute the royal will, 
nor did he care to comply with the urgent request of Father 
Garces and the Yuma Indians. Finally, he resolved to do what 
he could not avoid without displeasing His Majesty, but at the 
smallest cost possible, and according to an altogether new plan in 
which no friar was to have a voice. So on March 20, 1780, the 
formal instructions for the founding of these establishments were 

We find that there was to be neither Alission, presidio nor 
pueblo proper, but the attributes of all these were to be in a manner 
united. The soldiers were to protect the settlers who were to be 
granted house lots and fields. The friars were to act as pastors to 
attend to the spiritual interests of the colonists and at the same 
time to be missionaries. The priests were to have nothing to do 
with the temporal management, and native converts were not to 
be required to live in regular Mission communities but might secure 
lands and live in the pueblos with the Spaniards. Each pueblo 
was to have ten soldiers, ten settlers and six laborers. 

It can readily be seen that this was certainly a change in the 
Mission system. "De Croix", says Bancroft, "has been charged 
with having been influenced by "arbitristas politicos" (political 
schemers) who knew nothing of the subject and by false notions 
of economy. And further, with having paid no heed to the advice 
of the only men who were qualified to give it ; with giving instruc- 
tions to the friars in matters entirely beyond his jurisdiction; with 
direct opposition to the laws of Spain, especially in uniting Spaniards 
and Indians in the same pueblo, and in having in his stupid' pride 
and ignorance exposed over fifty families to sure destruction". We 
may attribute a large part of the bitter feeling exhibited by the 
Franciscans on the subject to the tragedy that followed, as Bancroft 
says, and to the removal of the temporal management from their 
hands, yet we must admit that Croix acted unwisely. The time 
and the place were not well chosen for such an experiment. Anza 
and Garces had expressed the opinion that Missions could not be 
established in that region except under the protection of a strong 
presidio, and Garces, as soon as he heard of the plan, sent in repeated 
protests and warnings, but they were all in vain.** 

At this time (1780), in connection with the college at Queretaro, 
Croix sent sixteen soldiers with their officers, and sixteen settlers 

7. Engelhardt, Missions and Missionaries of California, II, 350-51. 

8. Bancroft, I, 357-58. 

28 Historical Society of Southern California 

with their famiUes to estabhsh the two Missions. During' their 
explorations in 1775 and 1776, Garces and Eixarch had chosen the 
Puerto de la Concepcion and the Puerto d'e San Pablo as the most 
desirable sites for future Missions, and it was to these sites that 
the colonists were sent. The first of these Missions, which was 
located on the west bank of the Colorado, nearly opposite the mouth 
of the Gila — near the site of the modern Fort Yuma — was named 
La Purissima Concepcion de Maria Santisima, and the other, on 
the same side of the river but twelve miles lower down, was given 
the name of San Pedro y San Pablo de Bi'cuner. The missionaries 
at the former were Fathers Garces and Juan Barraneche, and those 
at the latter, Fathers Juan Diaz and Moreno. 

The system adopted in the founding of these establishments, 
says Hittell, was so entirely different from that employed in the 
other California Missions that Palou called it "el muro modo de 
conquistar" (the new method of conquest). "There was not even 
to be any distribution of food or in fact anything done which would 
powerfully attract the Indians or make it their special interest to 
be peaceable and submissive. The converts, instead of being main- 
tained or taught to maintain themselves, were to be left among 
their wild neighbors and to support themselves as best they could. 
The underlying spirit of the new establishments soon proved to be 
economy, not only of means and labor but also of interest in the 
natives. With a system so defective and with Indians of a character 
so intractable as these ought to have been known to be, it is no 
wonder that difficulties sprang up".'' 

W'hen Lieutenant Santiago Islas and his settlers arrived at the 
new Missions, they had with them one hundred and ninety-two 
head of cows and horses and two hundred sheep, and the soldiers 
forty-two riding animals. Despite protests, these ranging along- 
the banks of the river were allowed to trample the corn fields of 
the Indians. Then, too, the settlers at once occupied the narrow 
spaces of ground, the only ones fit for cultivation, along the river 
bed, thus driving out the Indians. The result was disagreement 
and quarrels and finally bloodshed. 

The Missions had scarcely been established when want began 
to be felt. The limited supply of provisions soon ran out and the 
Indians who had expected to be kept in good humor with presents 
became dissatisfied. Thus, affairs began to look very serious. The 
missionaries sent to San Gabriel for supplies and told of the serious 
condition of affairs and said that unless supplies could be sent 
them at once they would be 'compelled to abandon the establishments. 
A few supplies were sent from San Gabriel, but they did not go 
far, and in the meanwhile the trouble over the 'cultivated land grew 
worse. There were no open struggles, but the Indians were growing 
more and more dissatisfied. They could see no advantages in the 

9. Hittell, I, 427. 

The Neglected Missions of Southern California 29 

Missions and could only look forward to being eventually driven 
out from their fields. Knowing that there could be no great danger 
in making an attack upon the whites, since their forces were so 
inadequate, they resolved to kill the missionaries, soldiers and 
settlers and destroy the Missions.^*' 

Afifairs at the Missions were in this condition during the summer 
of 1781, when Captain Rivera y Moncado arrived with a party of 
recruits and a number of horses and mules on his way from Sonora 
to Santa Barbara. He had with him about forty soldiers and their 
families, and no less than a thousand head of horses and mules. 
Ensign Cayelano Limon and nine soldiers also marched with him 
as an additional guard and escort. When the party reached the 
Colorado, so many of animals were weakened and exhausted that 
Rivera y Moncado decided to remain there with them until they 
should be able to go on, while the people and animals in good con- 
dition went on in charge of Limon. Added to his party now were 
Sergeant Robles and six soldiers sent out by Felipe de Neve to meet 
Rivera y Moncado. Thus again, when this large party arrived at 
the Colorado their animals wrought damage along the east bank 
of the river, where the camp was made. Then, too, stocks and a 
whipping post had been set up and used, thus giving the Indians 
another grievance, so that by this time they were thoroughly disil- 
lusioned and disappointed. 

On Tuesday, July 7, 1771, the storm burst. Scarcely had Limon 
departed, leaving Rivera y Moncado on the east bank with seven 
soldiers and some mules and horses, when the Indians, collecting 
together in great numbers, fell upon the Missions and massacred 
all the whites, with the exception of the women and children, whom 
they made prisoners, and a few men, who escaped. They then set 
fire to the Missions and all the buildings that had been erected, and, 
leaving the smoldering ruins, crossed the river and fell upon Rivera 
y ]\Ioncado and his seven soldiers and slew them. "Thus", says 
Bancroft, "died Captain Fernando Javier* de Rivera y Moncado, 
one of the most prominent characters in early Californian annals, 
who had come in the first land expedition of 1769, had been military 
commandant of the ^Monterey establishments and who at the time of 
his death was Lieutenant-Governor of Baja California". ^^ 

In the meanwhile Ensign Limon and his nine soldiers having 
arrivecl safely at San Gabriel, turned westward on their return. 
Upon reaching the Colorado, Limon was told of the tragedy but 
would not believe the report until he arrived at Concepcion and 
saw the ruins. He had no time for making investigations now, 
for the Indians, as soon as they learned of his return, attacked him 
with great fury. One of them wore the uniform of Captain Rivera 
y Moncado. Limon and his soldiers immediately turned back toward 

10. Hittell, I, 427-2S. 

11. Bancroft, I, 362-63. 

30 Historical Society of Southern California 

San Gabriel and, bravely repelling the hordes which followed them 
for several days, managed to reach that point, losing only two men. 
Reaching San Gabriel, Limon told Neve what had occurred and 
offered to go back if furnished with twenty soldiers, to avenge 
the massacre, but Neve wisely declined and ordered him and his 
men to return to Sonora by way of Loreto, and at the same time 
he sent an account of the occurrences by them to Croix. ^- 

But the news had already been carried by the Pimas to Tucson 
and by one of the captives who managed to escape, thus reaching 
Croix at Altar in August. The 9th of September a council of war 
was held, and it was decided that the Yumas must be proceeded 
against as apostates and rebels. Pedro Pages and a large number 
of soldiers were ordered to the Colorado to ransom or rescue the 
captives and inflict the necessary punishments. 

Upon reaching the ruins of the Missions everything appeared as 
undisturbed since the massacre. Since all the bodies of the dead 
lay exposed, except those of Fathers Garces and Barreneche, it was 
hoped that they had been spared. This was thought possible because 
Garces had been very popular among the Indians, by whom, on 
account of his usual salutation, he was known as "El Viva Jesus". 
But upon further search a spot of ground was discovered which 
was covered with green grass and flowers, while everything around 
it was burned and blackened. Upon digging here the bodies of 
the two missionaries were found, still clothed in their priestly robes, 
and it was learned that an old Indian woman, to whom they had 
been kind, had buried their bodies and planted the grass and 

The Indians told many strange things about the massacre. They 
said that after the massacre a procession of people dressed in white 
with tapers in their hands, with a cross-bearer and acolytes, was seen 
every night going around the Mission chanting. After going around 
several times they would disappear. Thus, the Indians became 
frightened and abandoned the place, going eight leagues down the 

This story of the procession, says Hittell, was accepted not by the 
common people alone but also by officers and all the first men of the 
time. It was certified to as part of the judicial proceedings. Pages 
repeated it to Palou, and Palou, in utmost good faith, inserted it 
in his histories as a perfectly well-authenticated fact.^* 

Although the Indians had concealed themselves in the woods 
down the river. Pages succeeded in opening communication with 
them. After ransoming the captives, he started for the settlements 
inl Sonora, taking with him the captives and the bodies of the 
martyred missionaries. 

12. Hittell, I, 430. 

13. Publications of Hist. Society of So. Cal., 1893. 

14. Hittell, I, 432. 

The Neglected Missions of Southern California 31 

As has been seen, there had as yet been no punishment of the 
Yumas, so, in the early part of 1782, De Croix ordered Pages and 
his men to return to the Colorado. Leaving- the larger portion of 
his forces, under Pedro Pueros, at the Colorado. Pages proceeded 
with the remainder to San Gabriel to confer with Governor Neve 
upon the plan for a campaign against the Yumas. It was decided 
to defer the campaign until September, when the river would be 
low and easily fordable. This being decided, Pages returned to the 
Colorado, sent Pueros and his soldiers to the presidio in Sonora to 
wait until August, and he and his soldiers returned to San Gabriel 
for the same purpose. 

About the middle of August, Jose Antonio Romeu, with the So- 
nora troops intended for the campaign, started for the Colorado, 
and a little later De Neve and Pages, with about sixty soldiers, 
started from San Gabriel. But upon approaching the river, De 
Neve and Pages were met by couriers with dispatches informing 
De Neve of his promotion to the inspectorship of the presidios of 
the Provincias Internas, and Pages of his appointment to the gover- 
norship of the Californias. Of course, this 'changed their plans at 
once. Pages returned to San Gabriel to take possession of his new 
government, while De Neve proceeded to the Colorado, where he 
joined Romeu and his troops. They carried on the campaign for 
a while, but were exceedingly cautious. A few skirmishes took place 
and a number of Indians were killed. ^^ 

This is about all we know of the campaign, and it can easily be 
seen that it was a failure, since the Yumas were not subdued, peace 
was not made and the rebel leaders were not captured. As a result, 
the nation remained independent of all Spanish control and was 
always more or less hostile. No later attempt was ever made to 
establish either presidio. Mission or pueblo upon the Colorado, and 
this route never ceased to be dangerous. "Truly, as the Franciscan 
chroniclers do not fail to point out, the old way was best", says 
Bancroft, "since the innovations of De Croix had led to nothing 
but destruction : *el muro modo de conquistar' was a failure".^" 
"The scheme", says Cones, "had been a novel one — one so novel 
that Arricivita styles its author, Croix, an artificer of death (artifice 
de morir)".^^ 

"Croix was at fault, no doubt", says Chapman, "but claimed that 
Garces and Anza had deceived him. Garces having perished in the 
massacre, Anza was made the scapegoat. The achievements of 
Galvez and Bucareley, ably supplemented by those of De Neve, were 
not undone by the disaster, but their work suffered a permanent 
check. They had placed Alta Cahfornia on an enduring basis, but 
it was settled on July 1, 1781. that the province was not to develop 
at that time on a large scale. Thus, gold was to remain undiscovered 

15. Hittell, I, 433. 

16. Bancroft. I. 370-71. 

17. Coues. On the Trail of a Spanish Pioneer, I, 18. 

7)2 Historical Society of Southern California 

for over half a century, and the Pacific coast to be without sufficient 
allurement to induce its conquest by a strong power, until at 
length the United States was in a position to be a factor. Had 
Alta California settlements failed, England or Russia, presumably 
the former, might well have occupied the territory. That Spain's 
establishments did not fail was the work of Bucareley. That they 
did not become rich and populous was in a large measure the fault 
of Croix". ^^ 

"If," says Arricivita, "as recommended by Garces and Anza, 
two garrisons, strong and mutually supporting, had been placed 
by Croix on the Gila and Colorado, and if, under cover of these, 
there had been placed on each stream two Missions, — establishments 
to which the natives were solicited, or even compelled, to repair, and 
at which rewards and punishments were meted out to them, — 
there seems reason to believe that the design of Kino might have 
been accomplished".^** 

Bartlett, in his Narrations of 1852, tells us that traces of these 
old Spanish Mission buildings could still be seen close by Fort Yuma. 
They consisted of partly demolished stone walls of old buildings, 
though a few years before the walls of a church were visible.^" 

Thus, it is seen, began in blunder and ended) in blood, after 
enduring a few months, the Missions of La Purisima Concepcion 
de Maria Santisima and of San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicufier — 
the only Missions that ever were upon the Colorado. 

18. Chapman, 387. 

19. Coues, from Arricivita's Cronica Serafica y Apostolica. 

20. Coues, 150, note. 



Spain at the end of the Seven Years War found herself in a 
critical situation. Realizing that the peace of 1763 was not a 
permanent one, she was obliged, notwithstanding the exhausted state 
of her treasury, to prepare anew for war with England. The part 
of Louisiana west of the Mississippi, handed over to Spain by- 
France in the secret treaty of 1762, for the purpose of preventing 
its falling into the hands of England, brought with it even greater 
difficulties. France, lying between England and Spain in both 
Europe and America, had been forced out in the New World, leaving 
two great powers face to face along the Mississippi River. With 
England threatening her from Canada, on the Gulf Coast, and on 
the Pacific, and with the rumored activities of the Russian advance 
from Alaska growing more definite, for Spain it was not so much 
a question of colonial expansion at this time as it was one of holding 
what she already had.^ 

To meet this grave situation, Spain required a large amount of 
money. Her naturally rich possessions in the New World should 
have furnished it in abundance, but a restrictive, suicidal commercial 
policy, incompetent and corrupt colonial administration, and Indian 
depredations along the northern frontier, were robbing her annually 
of an enormous income. To prevent the loss of what revenue there 
was and to increase it by reviving the mining industry, which the 
Indian ravages on the border had made unsafe, and to further swell 
the revenue by stimulating commerce between Spain and her colonies, 
a thoroughly economic, administrative and military reform was 

Such reforms had been begun by the Bourbon, Philip V, in 
the early eighteenth century, but it remained for his energetic 
successor, Charles HI, to carry many of these reforms to completion. 
To Jose de Galvez, as Visitor-General of New Spain, Charles III 
assigned, in February of the year 1766, the great task of carrying 
out the vigorous scheme of economic and administrative reorganiza- 
tion in that viceroyalty.- Independent of the Visitor-General and in 
charge of the military part of the general plan, Don Cayetano Maria 
Pignatelly y de Rubi, Marques de Rubi, was commissioned a few 
months later to make an inspection of the presidios of the northern 
frontier of New Spain, and to make detailed reports of this investi- 
gation, accompanied by recommendations as to needed changes and 

L Bolton, Texas, in the Middle Eighteenth Century, 102-103. 
2. Priestley, Jose de Galvez, 123-25. 


34 Historical Society of Southern California 

The problem of the defense of the northern frontier of New- 
Spain was one for which the Spanish Government had long sought 
a solution. The difficulty of defending the frontier was increased 
by the great expanse which must be covered from the head of the 
Gulf of California to the Gulf of Mexico, by the contour of the 
country, which was cut and broken by countless mountain passes 
which remained undisputed thoroughfares for the Indians, and most 
of all by the warlike nature of the Indian hordes along the border. 
In the West, in Sonora and Nueva Vizcaya, the Indians had been 
constantly in a state of rebellion since 1740, when there was a 
general revolt of the Indians of Sonora. In 1751 began the revolt 
of the Pimas Altos and the Seris, which remained unsuppressed 
until the time of the Galvez expedition of 1768 into Sonora. The 
Western Apaches were also a constant menace. But the section 
of the frontier which suffered most from Indian ravages was that 
along the Rio Grande from El Paso to the mouth. In this part 
of Nueva Vizcaya, Coahuila, and Texas, the Spaniards were engaged 
in continuous conflict with the Apache Indians, some division of 
which roamed this great extent and kept the border and the interior 
in constant terror of their destructive raids. ^ 

The Spanish Government had realized since the beginning of 
the eighteenth century that a unified frontier which would present 
a strong line of defenses was the most effective, if not the only, 
means, of combating the Indians, and had made several attempts 
toward a rearrangement of presidios with this object in view. In 
1724-28 Don Pedro de Rivera reviewed the frontier presidios, 
covering much the same ground as did Rubi forty-two years later. 
Rivera summed up his inspection in a report printed in 1736. His 
work was directed largely toward cutting down expenses by re- 
ducing the number of soldiers in many of the presidios where it 
could safely be done, and by lowering the salaries of the presidial 
troops. He devoted much effort in urging that practices indulged 
in by the Captains, such as buying supplies and retailing them to 
the soldiers at enormous prices in payment for salaries, be stopped.* 
Later the Viceroy, Cruillas, made some attempt to secure a rear- 
rangement of presidios so as to defend the frontier more adequately, 
but his efforts were frustrated by interested land owners, who fought 
the removal of a presidio which protected their property."^ 

And so until 1766 no lasting progress had' been made toward 
securing a unified frontier defense, when the Field Marshal Marques 
de Rubi was commissioned to inspect the presidios of New Spain 
as his predecessor Rivera had so ably done forty-two years before. 
With equal care and precision, Rubi presented a similar report with 
recommendations as to the location of presidios,® the conduct of the 

3. Pritstley, Jose de Galvez, 269-7L 

4. Collins, Rivera's Inspection of the Frontier Presidios of New Spain, p. xxi. 

5. Priestley, Jose de Galvez, 288. 

6. Chapman, The Founding of Spanish California, 80. 

A Review of Rubi's Inspection 35 

soldiers, and the abatement of the abuses in the management of the 
presidial companies. But he went much farther and conceived of 
the presidios, not as isolated posts, but as forming a connected chain 
stretching from sea to sea. This forms the central idea of his final 
report around which all others are grouped. So strongly is he pos- 
sessed with it as being the only solution for the Indian problem, that 
he fearlessly recommends the moving from their useless locations 
of all but three of the border presidios to strategic positions, where 
they will be able to cover mountain passes and to mutually aid each 

While, as has been indicated, the idea of securing a,' unified 
frontier by placing the presidios in an irregular line did not originate 
with Rubi, yet he it was who actively realized its great importance, 
and who set about putting the principle of union and strength into 
practice by careful investigation and with recommendations based 
upon a personal understanding of the case. In brief, he was not 
content with the Spanish way of discussing a matter in discourses 
as long as the distances which separated the writers from the real 
situation. He was a man of action and was worthy to have a part 
in the "economic regeneration" of New Spain along with the en- 
ergetic Jose de Galvez. 

The latter's commission as Visitor-General of New Spain placed 
him in charge of the entire reorganization of that viceroyalty. Rubi, 
while his charge was a part of the whole plan of which Galvez was 
the head, was not subject to Galvez. Both received their commissions 
from the King and were responsible to him, or rather to his Minister 
of the Indies, Don Julian de Arriaga. Rubi was also responsible 
to the Viceroy, the King's representative in New Spain, from whom 
he received his instructions, a section of which required him to 
keep in close touch with the Viceroy, informing him regularly of 
his whereabouts and of his next destination. Although Rubi's 
voluminous correspondence, embodying separate reports upon each 
presidio and the final report, is for the most part addressed to the 
Ministro de Indias, Don Julian de Arriaga, copies were sent to the 
Viceroy. It is also likely that all those directed to the King's 
Minister went through the Viceroy's hands, since to reach Spain 
they must go by way of Mexico City and Vera Cruz. The first few 
lines of the Dictamen, Rubi's final report, will explain this relation, 
which was not hard and fast, but was one which could be departed 
from when occasion demanded. Addressing Arriaga. Rubi says: "I 
place in your hands the Dictamen formed concerning a better situa- 
tion of presidios, by order of the Senor Viceroy, to whom it is 
delivered". The King's Minister of the Indies and the Viceroy 
kept in close touch with each other, and any action taken in response 
to Rubi's requests in partial reports came from the King, who 
instructed the Viceroy to take such measuresi as were fitting to 

36 Historical Society of Southern California 

support Rubi, and to carry out those of his recommendations that 
were approved.^ 

While a search through the abundance of the writings of the 
Marques de Rubi and of his instructions has failed to reveal any 
mention of the Visitor-General, yet Rubi was not entirely inde- 
pendent of him. It is very probable that Galvez was one of the 
members of the junta which in March, 1766, formulated Rubi's 
instructions, since he was, as Visitor-General, a dominant member 
of most of those held at this time with regard to the reorganization 
of New Spain, and it is true that he was present at the meetings 
of January and February of the junta of the tobacco monopoly, 
preceding the one held in March, just referred to.^ It is certain 
that he was one of those to whom the Viceroy Croix submitted 
Rubi's final report, for in his instructions to his successor, Bucarely, 
Croix says: "I submitted this report to my Assessor that he should 
give me his opinion, and everything to the Senor Visitador, who, 
thoroughly informed, agreed that the presidios which the Senor 
Rubi proposed should be suppressed, and favored the regulation of 
the salaries of the Captains and officers."^ Croix goes on to state 
that after Galvez had approved the report and it had been sub- 
mitted to a junta de guerra y hacienda,^'^ there were drawn up 
under Croix's supervision, instructions in detail for the line of 
presidios from Sonora to Texas, dated July 18, 1771. In September 
of the same year Antonio Maria Bucarely y Ursua succeeded Croix 
as Viceroy. To this man, one of the ablest of all the Viceroys of 
New Spain, was left the task of carrying on the work of adequate 
frontier defense, which had been so well begun. April 2, 1772, a 
junta was held under the new administration. It made some 
changes in Croix's instructions, which were supposed to have gone 
into efifect January 1, 1772, by voting to allow time for the explora- 
tion of suitable sites for those presidios which were to be moved, 
and time for the suppression of others. Bucarely approved the plan 
of the junta, and while he was taking steps to carry it out, the 
same matter was under discussion in Madrid. The result was a 
royal order, with the King's signature affixed, dated September 10, 
1772 and known as the New Regulation of Presidios. ^^ This 
rcglamento, with the exception of some details, embodied the whole 
of Rubi's recommendation. After this summary of the events 
leading up to and surrounding this inspection of the frontier 
presidios, it is time to return to the Marques de Rubi and his work. 

7. Arriaga to Rubi, April 20, 1767. Chapman, Catalogue of Materials in the Archive 
General de Indias for the History of the Pacific Coast and the American Southwest, No. 776: 
Arriaga to Rubi, April 30, Ibid., No. 783; Arriaga to Croix, April 30, Ibid., No. 784. 
Hereafterl this work will be referred to as Chapman, Catalogue, the figures referring to the 
number of the document. 

8. Priestley, Jose de Galvez, 146-50. 

9. Croix, Instruction to his sucessor Bucarely , section entitled, "The Presidio of the 
Four Provinces". Mexico, Sept. 1, 1771, A. G. I., 88-5-13. 

10. Council of war and finance. 

11. Chapman, The Founding of Spanish California, 136-37. 

A Review of Rubi's Inspection 37 

As has been stated before, Rubi received his instructions from 
the Viceroy Cruillas, who submitted a copy of them to Arriaga, 
promising to send that official the reports and communications 
which the Inspector should send from time to time.^- 

It will be easier to understand and to appreciate the splendid 
character of the Field Marshal's work after reading his instructions, 
which are necessarily general, and comparing them with the final 
report, which covers the ground so thoroughly, and contains so 
many important points, that the Viceroy, even had he known of 
their existence, could not have included them in his instructions 
without making them too long. And the Field Marshal gave proof 
that this confidence in his judgment and ability was not misplaced. 

The following contains the gist of the Viceroy's instruction, 
largely in the words of the original. 

The Marques de Rubi must notify this Viceroyship promptly 
of the Province and place at which he has newly arrived, what 
occurs there, and where the measures (providcncias) that he may 
need, ask for, and find advisable, can be sent successively. 

The Senor Marques will take special care in the inspection of 
the presidio of Pasage to determine its location and the safety for 
those who are going into Nueva Vizcaya. 

It is most important to observe the same in the presidio of 
Guajoquilla, ascertaining whether its location is adequate to defend 
itself from the Pagan Indians and to guard against the frequent 
ravages which they have committed along the camino real among 
the cattle and the haciendas, which have been cruelly harassed 
since the presidios of Conchos, Cerrogordo, Gallo, and Mapimi 
were suppressed. He will also learn whether the presidio of La 
Junta de los Rios, commanded by Don Manuel Munoz, is well 
situated to hold back the Pagan Indians — or whether it wiir be 
advisable to locate it where it will more adequately defend the 

Similarly the Sefior Marques, by investigation and by means of 
information which Don Joseph Aguerro, Governor of Nueva Viz- 
caya, shall give him, shall select the place for the ultimate location 
of a new presidio to replace the four disbanded posts in that 

So great is the dissoluteness of the vecinos, or "adult male resi- 
dents"," and traders of the town of Chihuahua, that the wild 
Indians are permitted to come as far as their very houses and are 
enabled to intercept their supplies of provisions and their com- 
munications daily. The Senor Marques will find out whether, 
if the presidio were located in the valley of San Buenaventura, the 
settlers of Chihuahua, in whose progress there is noticeable deca- 

12. Cruilla's Letter to Arriaga, accompanying a copy of the instructions to Rubi, March 
19. 1766, A. G. I., 104-6-15. 

13. Bolton. Texas, in the Middle Eighteenth Century, 416. 

38 Historical Society of Southern California 

dence, would not be protected, their missions sustained and mines 

The information which Captain Don Pedro de la Fuente of 
the presidio of El Paso has collected concerning the movements 
of the Indians, together with diaries of different expeditions which 
he has made against those who disturb the communication with 
Vizcaya, is committed to the Senor Marques for his examination. 

In New Mexico and its capital, Santa Fe, the Senor Marques, 
making use of the information furnished by the Governor and set- 
tlers, shall inform himself concerning the explorations carried on 
by Don Tomas Velez in his time, and also concerning the condition 
and strength of the Comanche Indians. Particularly his opinion 
concerning the pueblos of Santiago de Taos, which has been the 
object of their hostilities, and judgment as to its defense, are desired. 

The Province of Sonora, rich in mines, is the most hostilized 
by the Seris and Pimas Altos, whose number is not very great. 
These Indians have the habit of assembling with other tribes, and 
in the shelter of Cerro Prieto they commit many depredations upon 
the rancherias, haciendas, and towns. The Seiior Marques will 
find out whether, since the review of Don Pedro Rivera, any of 
the presidios have been increased, inasmuch as neither those erected 
by the former Governor, Don Juan de Mendoza, nor those of the 
present Don Juan de Pineda, were sufificient to preserve peace in 
that important Province, so necessary to the development of the 
placers and other abandoned mines ; particularly the "Arizona", 
which today the infidels possess. Noting the number of companies 
in this Province, the Seiior Marques, with several detachments, 
will be able to find out all about this Province, and if it is possible, 
to explore the banks of the Gila River in order to inform his 
sovereign through the Viceroy concerning so important a matter. 

The excessive charges for overland shipments to those remote 
Provinces render the labor of the mines useless on account of the 
high price charged in them for iron, steel, quicksilver, etc. So, 
as much on this account as on that of facilitating the settlement of 
this country, there has been considered the establishment of light 
ships (even though they be owned by a commercial company) which 
should run from Acapulco to the coasts of Sonora, and whose ship- 
ment rates would be much more agreeable to the commercial and 
mining interests. Aside from the benefit to the real hacienda, the 
Indians could be more easily reduced in this way by attacking 
them in front and behind at the same time that the vessels bring 
military aid by way of the Gila River. 

After the Seiior Marques has investigated this matter by land 
and has determined the possibility and advantage of this plan. 

A Review of Rubi's Inspection 39 

he will render an account to this Viceroyship im order that his 
opinion may be added to the autos upon the subject.^* 

He will keep in mind also the advantage to be gained in establish- 
ing the presidios in places capable of sustaining a town whose 
inhabitants in time would not require the aid of the presidio in 
maintaining it, so that after a certain number of years the garrison 
can advance to a more profitable place, leaving behind the settle- 
ments and haciendas protected and defended. ^^ 

The presidio of San Saba was established between Texas and 
New Mexico for the purpose of conquering the Indians who invade 
the Province of Coahuila and Vizcaya. There may be some occasion 
to change its location on account of the town that the King has 
decided to establish at Cheta Alache,^*' and which undertaking he 
has delegated to Antonio Ulloa, Governor of Louisiana. The 
Senor Marques will report as to the utility of this town. 

Since in the Province of Texas the two presidios of Los Adaes 
and Nachitoches are so near each other, he will consider, inasmuch 
as Louisiana is a part of the King's domain, whether it will not be 
advisable to suppress one of them and to move it to a more profitable 

The Governor of Coahuila, Don Jacinto Barrios, has been en- 
trusted with the investigation of the report that the English have 
settled and fortified themselves on three islands on the Gulf Coast 
between the Bay of San Bernardo and that of Panuco and Tampico. 
The Senor Marques had better look into this unlawful introduction 
of foreigners in order that he may be able to give useful advice 
as to their dislodgement. In order to avoid similar settlements it 
will be advisable to move the presidio of La Bahia del Espiritu 
Santo near the seacoast, and it will be well for the Seiior IMarques 
to make exploration in order to decide upon the best location for 
defending the dominions of His Majesty. 

After inspecting the presidio of Santa Rosa, the Senor Marques 
will report what measures are needed to make it more useful to 
the service. 

The Senor Marques will find out especially what measures are 
best suited to each Province and presidio. It will always be 
desirable to accompany the reports by a small plan, noting the 
boundaries and principal directions, even though it be a light sketch 
by the engineer, in order to make the country treated of better 
understood. Mexico, March 10, 1766; The Marques de Cruillas. 

14. Rubi did not make this investigation as the Visitor-General, Galvez, took the matter 

up and had some ships built which were used in transporting troops for the Sonora expedition, 

and in a later expedition, to California. 

H. This means of extending the frontier was an established principle of Spanish colonial 

16. Cruillas in a letter to Arriaga of March 17, 1766, "offers to furnish the aid that is 
asked in order to establish the town of Cheti Manchac". Seville; A. G. I., 104-6-13. 

40 Historical Society of Southern California 

It is notable that in all his instruction to Rubi the Viceroy 
makes no mention of what was to form the very backbone of the 
Field Marshal's work, the line of presidios." It is true that he 
often recommends moving a presidio to a spot more suitable for 
its local defense, or for its separate maintenance, but never for 
the sake of improving- the communication with adjacent posts in 
order to make the frontier defense a unit. He does not appear to 
have the idea of a continuous line in mind. Rubi himself char- 
acterizes the Viceroyal viewpoint when, in speaking of the impor- 
tance of establishing the presidios so that they can reinforce and 
communicate with each other and explore the intervening country, 
he says, "It should always be general and never has been considered 
by the Superior Government (at Mexico) except as disconnected 
parts taken by themselves and without any reference to the whole 
of this important matter. "^^ And it is to his credit that throughout 
his whole inspection and all its accompanying problems and diffi- 
culties, Rubi never lost sight of this principle, which was to make 
his work of such lasting importance. 

There can be no better conclusion to this first introductory 
chapter than a brief summary of what the Marques de Rubi pro- 
poses in his final report for strengthening the frontier defense and 
for combatting the Indian scourge. 

He estimates the distance from the head of the Gulf of California 
to the Gulf of Mexico, at the mouth of the Guadalupe River, to be 
approximately 660 leagues, including some allowance for topo- 
graphical irregularities. This extent, with the exception of New 
Mexico, Rubi regards as the real frontier of New Spain. By 
garrisoning this expanse from sea to sea by the shortest distance, 
its defense, he maintains, "can be made more vigorous and enduring, 
and can be kept up with less force of arms".^'' Since the King 
was already supporting twenty-five presidios, there was ample 
material to draw from for the new arrangement.^" Not that the 
failure of frontier defense had been due to a lack of presidios ; it 
was due to the fact that these presidios were not in the right positions 
relative to each other and relative to exposed mountain passes. 
Right in this connection, in speaking of the presidio of Terrenate, 
Rubi says: "Its situation, considered only with respect to its own 
defense, would be all right, the quality of the enemies noted, but 
as this is considered the least advantage of a presidio, whose more 
remote risk is that of being attacked, it must secure for itself the 
best position for blocking the passes of the enemies, with the greatest 
proximity possible for giving and receiving the aid which the 

17. This is strange, for, according to Priestley, Jose de Galvez. 288, Cruillas had made 
an attempt "to shift the alignment of the presidios so as to make them protect efficiently the 
actual frontier." 

18. Rubi, the Dictamen, 6. 

19. Ibtd., 5. 

20. Ibid., 6. 

A Review of Rubi's Inspection 41 

different occurrences may necessitate".-^ The positions which the 
presidios occupied were owing- often to incompetence in choosing 
the ground, and more often they were situated with a view to 
protecting private interests rather than the frontier. 

This distance of 660 league Rubi proposes to cover by fifteen 
presidios placed about forty leagues apart, which, starting from Altar, 
at the head of the Gulf of California, were to be as follows :" Altar, 
Tubac, Terrenate, Fronteras, Janos, San Buenaventura, El Paso, 
Guajoquilla, Julimes, Cerregordo, San Saba, Monclova, Santa Rosa, 
San Juan Bautista, and Bahia del Espiritu Santo. Besides the 
fifteen presidios in the line, there are two outposts, Santa Fe, the 
capital of New Mexico, and San Antonio de Bexar, in Texas. 
These twd posts are to be strengthened by detachments, one at 
Robledo, in New Mexico, covering the distance between El Paso 
and Santa Fe, and the other at the Arroyo de Cibolo, between the 
presidio of San Antonio de Bexar and that of Bahia del Espiritu 

After careful examination of each presidio, Rubi recommends 
removal only when a new position will strengthen the line by 
closing some of the numerous mountain passes to the Indians. For 
this reason, he advises that the first four presidios be shifted some- 
what so as to cover the mountain passes and particularly to close 
up the gaps where the distance intervening between any two posts 
is greater than forty leagues. Janos, the fifth, is to be strengthened 
and to remain unmoved. San Buenaventura, in a terrible situation, 
is to be removed to the valley of Ruiz. Rubi considers the large set- 
tlement of El Paso to be able to do without the presidio, and recom- 
mends its removal to Carrizal in order to check the Indian inroads 
into Vizcaya. To protect Chihuahua, the presidio of Guajoquilla is 
to be placed, preferably in the valley of Elezario, or in one of three 
others named, according as later explorations shall indicate. 

Rubi strongly urges the return of the presidio of La Junta 
from Julimes. whither it has unfortunately been withdrawn, to its 
former position at the junction of the Rio Grande and the Conchos. 
He sets forth at length the dreadful consequences that will befall 
the relinquishing of this strategic point to the Indians. The long, 
unprotected section from La Junta to the junction of the Rio Grande 
and the San Diego River, a distance of more than 110 leagues along 
the course of the first river, had been left a prey to the Apaches. 
Rubi urges the necessity of reoccupying "this most important aban- 
doned extent at whatever cost".-'' To span this distance along the 
Rio Grande he proposes the removal of the presidios of Cerrogordo, 
San Saba, and Monclova to the banks of this river. These are to 
be placed, in the order named, as nearly as possible in the proportion 

21. Rubi, The Dictamen. \\. 

22. Priestley, Jose de Galvez, 288. 

23. Rubi, The Dictamen. 33. 

42 Historical Society of Southern California 

of forty leagues apart. In case the distance shall prove too great 
to be covered by these three, the presidio of Santa Rosa is placed 
in reserve. Following next in line is the presidio of San Juan 
Bautista, which Rubi recommends shall be moved from the Rio 
Grande to lessen the distance between it and San Antonio de Bexar, 
which he decides to fortify strongly as the most advance post in 
Texas. The last post in the line. La Bahia del Espiritu Santo, 
situated in Texas on the San Antonio River, Rubi thinks unwise to 
move since it was already well situated and there was little need 
of moving it nearer the coast, which was protected by natural con- 

To make this line of defenses still more sure by strengthening 
the intercommunication between its parts, Rubi proposes that three 
Field Commanders {Comandantes de Conipana) be appointed, one 
for the section of frontier in Sonora, another for Vizcaya, and a 
third for Coahuila and Texas. These men are to exercise the func- 
tions of inspector, keeping accounts and rendering frequent reports, 
and once a year a general review of presidios is to be made by 
these officers, submitting formal writings. 

Aside from these presidios of the line, and the two outposts and 
their detachments, Rubi recommends the suppression of several 
useless presidios. In Sonora, those of Buenavista, San Miguel, 
and the First and Second Provincial Companies ; in Nueva Vizcaya, 
the presidio of Pasage ; in Nayarit, that of Mesa del Tonatti ; and 
in Nuevo Leon, the presidio of Monterey. In the Province of 
Texas, Rubi advises that San Saba be abandoned, that the presidios 
and mission of Orcoquiza and Los Adaes be suppressed, and their 
inhabitants and soldiers brought to the vicinity of Bexar and given 
lands, or, as in the case of Los Adaes, allowed to settle in Louisiana. 
Rubi answers well the criticism which he feels sure will follow 
upon his apparent willingness to relinquish so large an amount of 
the King's domain in the suppression of the presidios of Eastern 
Texas, by showing Spanish occupation of this territory to be only 
nominal. He pictures the empty missions with not one convert to 
leave behind, the worthless, wretched presidios overrun by hostile 
Indians, and the frontier, which these posts have failed to hold, as 
only an imaginary line. The real Spanish frontier, he maintains, 
is that just outlined. And there is that new Louisiana frontier 
along the Mississippi, which is to become stronger until it envelopes 
the old Texas frontier, making it an interior Province. So instead 
of losing anything by the suppression of Los Adaes and Orcoquiza 
and their imaginary missions, the King will gain 44,151 pesos an- 
nually, which their maintenance costs him. Altogether by the new 
arrangement and with the suppression and removal of the presidios 
named, the Marques de Rubi estimates that the royal treasury will 
be saved an expenditure of 79,928 pesos annually. 

The Field Marshal, after careful investigation of the Indian 

A Review of Rubi's Inspection 43 

situation, arrives at the conclusion that the attempt to tame and 
civilize the Apache nation has been a failure. "Here, under the 
shelter of our unseasonable piety", he says, "and under the protection 
of the presidios which we have erected in its contemplation, they 
have preserved themselves from the persecution of their innumerable 
enemies, without failing to lay waste, like domestic robbers, our own 
possessions. They have also inflicted on us the much graver injury 
of having brought to our frontier — attracted by their irreconcilable 
hatred [of the Lipanes] — the Nations of the North: the Comanches, 
Iscanis, Taguacanas, Taguayas, etc".^* The Marques de Rubi 
outlines a plan for the extermination of the Apache. This can be 
accomplished by subjecting them to an attack from front and rear 
by the Spanish, and their deadly enemies, the Nations of the North. 

Speaking of the ever approaching Nations of the North, Rubi 
says: "They, by their generosity and fortitude, are less worthy to 
be our enemies",-^ and he goes on to say that since they are not 
unfriendly to the people of Louisiana, nor to the presidio of Los 
Adaes, perhaps they will not be unfriendly to the Spanish as a whole. 

After making a few general recommendations as to the appoint- 
ments to office, duration of service, armament, etc., all of which 
he has discussed at greater length in other writings,^® the Marques 
de Rubi closes his splendid report with these words: "This labor 
will have received all the indulgence and reward to which it aspired 
if, in all its discourse, there is found a single idea capable of con- 
tributing to the furtherance of the service which has been the 
whole impulse directing it and the only object to which it is 

24. Rubi, The Dictamen, 40. 

25. Ibid., 42. 

26. Rubi madt separate reports upon every presidio reviewed. 

27. Rubi, The Dictamen, 82. 



From her aborigines, California inherits many Indian names, 
and from her Spanish settlers, many Spanish names, and often a 
combination of the two. And then just plain United States is used 
in some instances, and again where the Spanish appellation is too 
long, the American settler took matters into his own hands, con- 
sidering brevity to be the soul of wit. Where no other language 
is mentioned the name of the place is Spanish. 

As exploring parties traversed the new land, they first applied 
names to rivers, creeks or mountains as being features most im- 
portant to their welfare, and in some cases, even to their existence, 
as for example the Merced (Mercy) River was thus named, because 
it was the first drinking water encountered by a party, after having 
traversed forty miles of the hot, dry valley. ' As one views the 
stream at the foot of Vernal Falls, all joyous and gay, and as it 
goes on in a frivolous way around Happy Isles, and then on out 
into the valley, one can know that it was indeed considered an Angel 
of Mercy at one time, and how many more times is a question to be 

Most naturally, in considering California names, the first would 
be the name of the State itself. Much guessing and confusion 
there was for many years, till in 1862 Edward Everett Hale hap- 
pened on the solution which is generally accepted now. 

Mr. Hale, while engaged in a study of Spanish literature, was 
fortunate enough to run across a copy of an old novel published 
in Toledo between 1510 and 1521, in which the name California 
occurred, as the name of a fabulous island, rich in treasure, and 
inhabited by a tribe of Amazons. The novel was very popular in 
its day, although of small literary value. 

Calafia, the Amazon queen, assists the Turks in their attack 
on Constantinople and the Christians. She and her sister encounter 
Christian Knights, and the fury of Liota, the lion-hearted sister, 
because they are overmatched, is savage, to say the least. They 
are finally overcome, and the marriage of the two sisters to Christian 
Knights closes the story.^ 

In 1864, Mr. Hale translated for the Atlantic Monthly parts 
of the story relating to the queen of California, and in 1874 he 
published a small volume on the naming of California, and stated 

1. Davidson, George. Origin and Meaning of the Name California. 
Ings of Geographical Society of the Pacific, 1910. 


A Study of Southern California Place Names 45 

that Cortez named the peninsula Baja California. It is suggested' 
by Mr. Hale that the root Cdlif, the Spanish spelling for the sover- 
eign of the Musselman power, was in the mind of the author, as he 
invented the Amazon allies of the Infidel power. 

San Diego (St. James), the first settlement in California proper, 
had more than one christening. Cabrillo named the harbor San 
jVIiguel (Saint ^Michael) in 1542. Then in a little over fifty years 
Vizcaino came along and named the harbor San Diego. Thus it 
was first the port, years after the mission, and then the town of 
San Diego. 

Coronado Beach gets its name from the Coronado Islands, near 
by, which islands were named in honor of Coronado, the great 
explorer, who searched so diligently for the fabulous city of such 
great treasures. 

San Luis Rey de Francia (St. Louis, King of France) is the 
name of a mission some forty miles north of San Diego and three 
miles inland, which was founded in 1798. As Blanche of Castile 
was the mother of St. Louis, we can account for the naming of a 
Spanish mission after a French king. 

Some fifteen miles northeast of San Luis Rey is the site of the 
sub-mission San Antonio de Pala (often misspelled Palo). Pala 
is an Indian word, meaning, in the Cupanian Mission Indian lan- 
guage "water", no doubt due to the fact that the San Luis Rey 
River passes through this particular mission site. 

About half way between San Diego and Los Angeles is the 
mission San Juan Capistrano (St. John Capistrano), which was 
founded in 1776 (a date not to be forgotten), and destroyed in 1812 
by an earthquake. Its patron saint was a Franciscan friar, who 
took part in the crusades. 

In San Diego County is found Tibia, which is nothing more 
or less than warm water, or warm springs. Some translations 
have been given as "shinbone water", and "flute water", but they 
are entirely wrong. 

Ballena (whale) valley being a good many miles from the ocean 
does seem strange, but it was named from a near-by mountain 
whose outline along the top is the exact shape of a humpback whale. 

El Cajon, some twelve miles northeast of San Diego, is the 
Spanish for "the box", being a deep canyon with high box-like walls. 

Caliente Creek, in the northern part of San Diego County, is 
the Spanish for "hot creek". 

Campo means a level field. 

Canada del Bautismo (glen of the baptism), so named from the 
padres baptizing two dying native children. 

Carriso, the name of a village and creek in San Diego County. 
It means "reed grass". 

Chula Vista means pretty view. "Chula" is of Mexican origin. 

46 Historical Society of Southern California 

La Costa, a place on the shore north of San Diego, means the 

Coyote Valley, just below the southern border of San Jacinto 
Forest Reservation. The word "Coyote" is an Aztec word, originally 

Cuyamaca is derived from two Indian words "kwe" (rain) and 
"amak" (yonder), with reference to the clouds and rain gathering 
around the summit of the mountain. 

Descanso, which means "rest", was so named because a govern- 
ment surveying party stopped each day at this particular place to 

Dulzura is the name of a mining camp (now desolate), just 
north of the Mexican border. It means "sweetness". Rather an 
unusual name for a mining camp. 

Encinitas means "little oaks", twenty miles northwest of San 

Escondido means "hidden", so named from its location in the 

La Jolla is a word of doubtful origin. Some say it means "pool", 
others say it comes from "hoya", a hollow surrounded by hills, and 
still others say it is a corruption of "joya", a jewel. It is rather 
thought to be a corruption of some Indian word. 

Laguna del Corral means the "lagoon of the yard". 

Linda Vista means "charming or pretty view". 

Point Loma (famous for the Theosophists under Madam Ting- 
ley) means "hill point". "Loma" means hill. 

Del Mar means "of or on the sea". It is about eighteen miles 
north of San Diego. 

La Mesa, literally "the table", is generally used in connection 
with a "high, flat table-land". Lamesa is an incorrect form. 

Mesa Grande means a large table-land. 

El Nido means the nest. It is near the Mexican border. 
Potrero, a pasture land. Many Potreros are scattered over the 

La Presa is a dam or dike. It is on the Sweetwater River (note 
the American name). 

Los Rosales means the "rose bushes", in memory of the "roses 
of Castile" found blooming in profusion by Miguel Costanso. 

Temecula, "The rising sun hit the house early", is an Indian 
name of an important Indian village (of some years ago). The 
white man saw their good land and they forced the Indians to leave 
and remove to Pichango Canyon, a desert region. 

To finish up the locality around San Diego, nothing is more 
fitting than Tia Juana, which means "Aunt Jane", and travelers 
■wonder! It is a corruption of an Indian word, Tiwana, into Tia 

2. Sanchez, Nellie Van de Grift. Spanish and Indian Place Names of Cali- 
fornia. The subject is well handled by the author. 

A Study of Southern California Place Names 47 

Juana, which is the Spanish for "Aunt Jane". Tiwana is said to 
mean "by the sea". 

Miguel Costanso and' his companies halted on August 2nd to 
observe a feast day, and named the place where they stopped in 
honor of the feast day, "Nuestra Senora de los Angeles", "Our 
Lady of the Angels". 

On September 4th, 1781, the pueblo was actually founded at 
the order of Governor Neve, on the site of the Indian village 
Yangna, which was to be known as "Nuestra Senora la Reina de 
los Angeles de Porciuncula". "Porciuncula" means the "small 
portion", and was given to the river, which at that season of the 
year was dry. The name was, of course, shortened in time. 

Bimini — name of springs in western part of the city of Los An- 
geles, said to be "wonder land or land of youth '. 

La Brea (the asphalt) is the name of a ranch, near Los Angeles, 
which contains asphaltum beds which furnish one of the' richest 
fields for paleontological research to be found anywhere in the 
world. It is here in these beds that the remains of the saber-tooth 
tiger were found. 

Los Ojitos means "little eyes", but is here used in the sense of 
"little springs". 

Santa Ana, name of a stream, named after St. Anna, the mother 
of the Virgin, and her name signifies "gracious". The day that the 
Portola expedition arrived at this stream there were four frightful 

In Southern California, the Saints' Calendar is represented to 
quite a degree. But as the names were often too long, they were 
dropped and others substituted, as for example the naming of a 
river by Father Crespi "El Rio del Dulcisimo Nombre de Jesus 
de Los Temblores" — The River of the Sweetest Name of Jesus of 
the Earthquakes". But as Father Crespi very naively put it, the 
soldiers called it Santa Ana. 

Santa Monica, named from the mother of St. Augustine. She 
was a Christian and her husband, the father of St. Augustine, was 
a heathen. 

Santa Catalina, named by Vizcaino in honor of St. Catherine, 
because its discovery occurred on the eve of her feast day. 

Las Animas Benditas (The Blessed Souls), so named from the 
four Christians who were killed and burned by Anajabas (Mojave) 
Indians. The bones were gathered and buried and the sepulchre 

San Gabriel, the name of a mission some nine miles cast of Los 
Angeles, was named for St. Gabriel Archangel. Also known as the 
Mission of Los Temblores. It seems there were many quakes in 
the locality during the forty years preceding 1812, the date of a 
very destructive quake in California. 

48 Historical Society of Southern California 

San Fernando (St. Ferdinand), a king of Spain who expelled 
the Moors from Toledo, Cordova and Seville. The Camulos Rancho, 
the home of Ramona; the heroine of Mrs. Helen Hunt Jackson's 
romance, was once included in the lands of this mission. 

Temescal, in Riverside County, means ''sweathouse". It is an 
Indian word of Aztec origin, and was brought to California by 
the Franciscans. It recalls one of the curious customs of the Indians 
who built little structures of bark, reeds or grass, covered with 
mud. A small fire would be built in these places, which were 
very low ; possibly a dozen Indians would crawl in, bringing in hot 
stones, then the only opening would be closed and they would 
proceed to "sweat". After a good "sweating", they would rush 
out and jump into a near-by stream of water. The sweathouse 
was used as a curative for disease and a convenience for cleansing 
the skin, when necessity demanded it. A number of places through- 
out the State bore the name of "Temescal", so Riverside County 
is not to be blamed. There was one lying between the sites now 
occupied by the cities of Oakland and Berkeley. Its citizens became 
discontented with the Indian Turkish bath name and changed it 
to Alden. 

San Bernardino, bold as a bear, from St. Bernardinus, who 
established the Monte de Piedad (hill of pity) municipal pawn 
shops, where money was loaned to the poor on pledges. The name 
is given to the mountain, county and city, which is sometimes called 
"Berdoo", sad to state. 

Abalone Point, named from the abundance of great sea snails 
that once were to be found some miles southeast of San Pedro bay. 

Agua Caliente means "hot water", used in reference to hot 
springs. Of these there are many in the State. One is found on 
the Indian Reservation, southeast of Riverside. 

Alamitos means "little cottonwoods". There are several towns 
of this name in the state, one quite near Santa Ana. 

Aliso means "alder tree". It is the name of a place on the 
Santa Fe railroad. No doubt named for the rancho Caiiada de 
los Alisos. Thought to be modern. 

Anaheim means Anna's home. It is a little town near Los 

Anita, little Anna. Santa Anita, the name of a canyon. 

Artesia (from Artois, in France), which has artesian wells. 

Azusa is an Indian place name of a lodge, or rancheria, the 
original form being Asuksa-gua, the "gua" an ending which indicates 

Bandini is a surname. It is the name of a place a short distance 
from Los Angeles, on the Santa Fe. 

Bolsa (pocket), a shut-in place. There is a town in Orange 
County by the name of Bolsa. 

Cabezon means big head, and was named for an Indian who 

A Study of Southern California Place Names 49 

had a large head. Sometunes improperly spelled (Cabazon). 

Cahuilla, of uncertain derivation, but probably "Spanishized" 
from the Indian spelling Ka-ave-a. It is the name of a tribe of 
Indians that once lived on the northern slopes of the San Jacinto 

Calabazas means pumpkins and is no doubt a corruption of an 
Indian word "Calahuasa", the name of a former Chumash village. 
The name may have been given by the Spanish because of the 
wild gourds which grew in abundance and which were yellow and 
looked something like pumpkins. There is a little town of this 
name northwest of Los Angeles. 

Canada is a mountain valley, the name of a place back of 

Casa Blanca means a "white house", so called from a large white 
ranch house near the railroad. 

Casco means the "skull", shell or outside of anything. Also 
said to mean the place of the wine cask. El Casco is twelve miles 
east of Riverside. There seems to be no connection between the 
name and the place. 

Chino — Chinaman or a simpleton. 

Conejo means rabbit. It is a name given to a number of places 
in the State. 

Cucamonga is an Indian name, a nun of evil repute, applied to 
a land grant in San Bernardino County. 

Duarte is a surname. 

Las Flores means the flowers. 

Garvanza should be Garbanzo, a section of Los Angeles, means 

Hermosa means beautiful. A beach near Los Angeles. 

Indio, the Spanish word for "Indian". 

La Habra (correct form La Hebra), a place near Whittier, on 
the P^acific Electric line, means "the thread". Possibly may have 
some reference to a vein of gold. 

La Mirada, the "view". 

Leon means "lion". 

Loma Linda, pretty hill. 

Los Molinos, the "mills" or "mill-stones", a place near San Ga- 
briel, so named because of stones suitable for millstones. 

Los Nietos (literally, "the grandchildren"), but in this case a 

Mohave — three mountains. Name of an Indian tribe, also a 
small desert town in the desert of the same name. 

Murietta, a surname, but not named for Joaquin Muriotta, the 

Pasadena, said to be derived from the Chippewa Indian language. 
The entire name is Weoquan Pasadena, meaning the "Crown of the 
Valley". It has nothing to do with the "Pass of Eden". 

50 Historical Society of Southern California 

Pomona, "Goddess of Fruit". Spanish word of Greek origin. 
Name of a town near Los Angeles. 

Paso Robles (pass of oaks). 

Petaluma (low hills). 

Prado means "meadow". 

Puente means "bridge", name of a land grant. 

Pulgas Creek means "fleas creek". 

Redondo Beach gets its name from a land grant which was 
called "Sausal Redondo" (round willow grove). 

Rincon (inside corner). 

Rio Seco (dry river). 

Rivera means "river or stream". 

Rodeo de las Aguas, "a gathering of the waters", once given 
to the site of "La Brea". 

San Jacinto, from the Silesian nobleman who became a monk, 
St. Hyacinth. 

San Juan Point (St. John Point). 

San Mateo Point (St. Matthew Point). 

San Pedro (St. Peter). 

Saticoy, a Chumash Indian name. 

Sierra Madre (Mountains of the Mother of Christ). 

Simi (source of water), a little town on the Southern Pacific, 
north of Los Angeles. 

El Toro (the bull). 

Tra'buca Canyon means "blunterbuss canyon". 

Valle Verde means "green valley". Incorrectly spelled as Val 

Verdugo. a surname. The owners of the Rancho San Rafael, 
northeast of Los Angeles and near the base of the Verdugo moun- 

In treating of these California names, I included only the 
southern part of Southern California. 

As one goes north one still encounters the Spanish names, but 
beyond San Francisco there are fewer Spanish names and more of 
Indian origin. 

The sources of information are somewhat scattered and often 
unreliable, and thus in many cases it is impossible to trace names 
to their origin. 

It seems that names of places in California were being discussed 
away back in the 50's, for Mariano G. Vallejo made a report to 
the first Legislative Session of California (at its request), on April 
16, 1850, in respect to the derivation and definition of the names of 
the several counties of the State. 

Even at that early date a great future was assured Los Angeles. 
We have it in Vallejo's own words: "Doubtless many men of busi- 
ness, both public and mercantile, tired of their avocations, will retire 
there to enjoy a life of angels". 



A Study of the conditions of education in California before it 
became one of the sisterhood of States, leads us at once to the im- 
pression that there was not much education going on of the sort 
with which we are familiar today. We are tempted to draw a 
comparison with the condition of education on the eastern shore 
of our continent at the same time. Ordinarily it would be better 
for us to reserve our comparisons until later, but in this case it 
will serve as an introduction to the more detailed study of the actual 
conditions on this coast. 

First of all, we must remember that California; was Spanish 
territory until 1823, and then Mexican until 1846. So for much 
of the period before statehood we are dealing with a civilization 
which was very different from our own. It was that of Spain, 
with its Latin interweaving of church and state, which has persisted 
in that country down to the present day ; it was the civilization of a 
nation which recognized exploitation of men and' land as the funda- 
mental principle of colonial expansion. Spain used the church as 
one of her most powerful agencies. 

The education of the natives to ideas of freedom and liberty 
was not on the program. There was, rather, a well defined policy 
of keeping the Indian as ignorant as possible, that they might be 
the more completely subject to the will of the Spanish masters. The 
natives became proficient in repeating the services of the Church, 
but beyond this the padres did not care to lead them. Most students 
are agreed that the condition of the neophyte Indian was of a 
servile nature — very little removed from slavery. The policy was 
much the same as that followed in the Southern States toward the 
negro, before the Civil War, and indeed, the situation was quite 
comparable. It was not a lack of opportunity, neither was it a lack 
of ability, as many of the padres were finely educated men from 
the seminaries of Spain, but they were not willing to impart their 
knowledge to their lowly slaves and thus endanger the servile system. 

Compare this condition, if you please, with that on the eastern 
coast of our country, where about the first thing thought of after 
the settlement of a colony was the establishment of schools and 
colleges. While ignorance prevailed on the western coast, the eastern 
colleges, like Harvard and Yale and others, were graduating large 
classes of students, and education was the rule rather than the 


52 Historical Society of Southern California 

Charles Howard Shinn, in an article entitled, "Spanish Cali- 
fornia Schools", says that "fiction covers the Spanish period with 
a dreamy, mysterious, Andalusian atmosphere. It substitutes for 
the ignorant, simple-hearted, Spanish-California senorita, a complex 
creature of the imagination, beautiful, passionate, semi-refined, a 
mingling of the nineteenth century with the sixteenth. This is the 
Spanish California of the poets". He states further that the esti- 
mates of the essayist and the historian are very different from those 
of the poet. 

Until the last quarter of the eighteenth century, there were no 
schools in California other than the missions. With the expulsion 
of the Jesuits from North America in 1767, the control of religious 
education — there was no other worthy of the name — was given to 
the Franciscans. Their first representative in Alta California was 
Father Junipero Serra, who established a chain of nine missions, 
which was later increased to over twenty. The system of education 
which he established at his missions, if it could be called a system 
at all, consisted entirely of oral instruction in the services of the 
Church and in teaching the Indians to till the soil for the fathers 
and to wait upon them. 

It is probably true that some of the priests contributed to the 
education of some of their wealthier parishioners. Money was a 
powerful influence in those days as well as now. But the greater 
number of the Spanish pioneers were of the lower class of the 
European Spaniards, came from ignorant stock, and were content 
to remain in the same state as their fathers. These, with the 
Indians and half-breed whites, constituted the population of the 
California of those days. It is reported that in 1781, the alcalde of 
San Francisco was not able to read or write. In 1785, only fourteen 
men out of the fifty who comprised the Monterey presidial company 
could read or write. At the same time the ratio was seven out of 
thirty in San Francisco. In 1798, only two out of twenty-eight, 
and in 1794, none of the soldiers of San Francisco could' write, 
and they were compelled to ask the commandant of Santa Barbara 
to send them a soldier who could keep the records, as none of them 
could write. 

We may well ask why the Spanish Government did not take 
more interest in the welfare of its colonists. It did take an 
interest . Did not the colonists have the Fathers to teach them the 
forms of the Church? Having that, what more did they need? 
Then the Spanish Government was itself in a weakened state and 
was fast losing its hold on its colonies, and why should it send 
good money after bad? 

Not until the second generation was any attempt made to provide 
education, in a systematic way, and even then we shall find that it 
was not very effective. The first school of which we are able to 
find a record was in Santa Barbara. It was a private school, estab- 

Education in California During the Pre-Statehood Period 53 

lished and taught by one Manuel Lucca, and was open to the sons 
and daughters of good famihes, who could pay the tuition of $125 
a year. This school was taught during a few months, some time 
between 1784 and 1787. The pupils were taught reading, writing, 
history and grammar. It was an aristocratic school and was evi- 
dently not of a permanent character. 

In 1793, the Viceroy, Gigedo, issued an order, urging that schools 
be established. Borica, who was the Provisional Governor at that 
time, was only feebly interested, but in 1794 he had evidently 
found that education had a commercial value, so he made a list 
of those who could read and write. It would be manifestly easier 
to take that kind of a census than to number those who could not 
do so. He and Father Lasuen, the most enterprising priest on the 
coast at that time, were able to start a few private schools. One of 
these, and the second school of which we have any record, was 
started by Manuel Vargas in a barn or granary at San Jose, in 
1794. Senor Vargas was a Spanish gentleman who had been in 
military service, and he is the first one of a long line of ex-soldiers 
who taught in various parts of the province during the next fifty 
years. We may doubt the efficiency of these men, whose training, 
would doubtless better fit them for the work of war than the more 
peaceful occupation of the pedagogue. This first school in San 
Jose was opened before the founding of the mission by that name. 

Vargas was followed in 1795 by Ramon Lasso. He charged 
a tuition of $25 for a term of three months. Some of the families 
of his pupils had a few histories, volumes of verse or old novels, 
which the children took to school to learn to read from, but most 
of the texts were from manuscripts written by the teacher. Mr. J. 
M. Guinn tells us that Vargas went from San Jose to San Diego, 
where he secured a better position at $250 a year, and that author 
remarks that the seeking of a better job was characteristic of the 
profession. He also tells us of a school started in Santa Barbara 
in 1795 by Jose Manuel Toca, a ship boy. He taught for two 
years for $125 a year, and was then recalled to his ship. He was 
followed by Jose Medina, another ship boy, but Toca returned in 
1798 and taught again for two years. 

The schools which we have mentioned were the results of the 
efforts of Governor Borica. In 1797, he issued an order that wher- 
ever schools were not properly supported by tuition, a tax of money 
or grain should be levied upon all the residents of the Presidios. 
This was to apply to bachelors as well as to the citizens who were 
married. At that time there were six schools in operation, — at San 
Jose, San Diego, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Santa 
Cruz. Borica ordered that all children between seven and ten 
years should attend school. In addition to these, all non-commis- 
sioned officers of the Presidios, who could not read or write, were 
also compelled to attend. The learning of the Christina Doctrina 

54 Historical Society of Southern California 

was the first requirement, and after that came reading and writing. 
But the parents of the children gradually withdrew them from the 
schools because of the inefficiency of the old soldier teachers, so 
that by the end of Borica's term, in 1800, the schools had deteriorated 
to the point where many of them met only once a week. 

In 1800, Governor Arillaga came into office, and as he took 
things very easy where they affected education, the schools "took a 
vacation for fifteen years". In other words, they were gradually 
abandoned. The Governor was of the ultra-conservative class who 
thought that the Church Schools, which were taught by the priests 
at the missions on Sundays, were quite sufficient for all of the 
needs of the people. A few printed text-books were sent out from 
Mexico during this period and were distributed among the wealthier 
families and were looked upon as great treasures. Manuscript copies 
of elementary grammar, geography and universal history were made 
by some of the young people who were so inclined, and by some 
of the former teachers in the schools of Borica, but this practice 
was discouraged by the costliness of paper. 

The next Provincial Governor was Sola, and it is said in the 
Herald's History of Los Angeles, that there was something of a 
revival of learning under his administration. He ordered that no 
one should hold the office of Alcalde or Town Councilman unless he 
could read and' write. He visited the religious schools and the 
so-called Colleges of the Padres, and also the one or two private 
schools which were still in existence. He purchased books and 
paper from his private funds and distributed them to the schools. 
He issued orders that the parents should send their children to the 
schools and promised that more supplies should be forthcoming. It 
is also ofi interest that he issued orders on the conduct of the 
schools, in which he advocated the unsparing use of the rawhide. 
He established schools for both boys and girls at Monterey, and 
it is in this period that we read of the first schools in Los Angeles. 
In fact, that is true of schools in many parts of the Province. 

The first school in Los Angeles was taught by Maximo Pifia, 
a retired invalid soldier. It was organized in 1817 and lasted for 
only about one year. It was probably held in the public granary, 
on the east side of the Old Plaza, and the salary of Senor Pifia 
was the munificent sum of $140 per year. After his term there 
was no school for nine years. There is no detailed description of 
the school, but General M. G. Vallejo gave Bancroft a general 
description of the schools of that time, which we quote : 

"The teacher was almost invariably an old soldier, brutal, 
drunken, bigoted, and except that he could read and write, ignorant. 
The school room was dark and dirty, and the pupils all studied 
aloud. The Master's ferule was in constant use, even for blots on 
the writing paper or for mistakes in the reading. Serious offenses, 
such as laughing aloud, or playing truant, or failure to learn the 

Education in California During the Pre-Statehood Period 55 

Doctrina, were punished by use of the scourge, a bundle of hempen 
cords, sometimes having iron points fastened to the ends of the 
lashes. It was a horrible instrument, that drew blood, and if used 
with severity, left a scar for life. The only volumes used for 
reading were the books of religious formulae, which the pupils 
used cordially to hate all through their later life, for the torments 
of scourging were recalled." "The Escuela Antigua was a heaping 
up of horrors, a torture for childhood, a punishment for innocence. 
In it the souls of a whole generation were inoculated with the virus 
of a deadly disease. ..." 

Bancroft states that the text-books of the time were all of a 
religious nature and taught servility to the Alcalde. He names the 
following as being most popular. (1) Catecismo de Ripalda. (2) 
Canon Cristiano. (3) Novena de la Virgen. 

Care was taken to exclude any text which was not friendly to 
the Divine Right of Kings. There was a long list of proscribed 
books which the authorities did not consider suitable for the instruc- 
tion of the young in the tenets of autocracy. 

Sola seems to have been deeply interested in education, as it is 
said that he started the schools of Monterey out of his own private 
funds. He also attempted to start a college in Monterey, which was 
to have been modelled after the College of San Gregorio de Mejico, 
but little attention was paid to his suggestion. The reason for the 
.apathy may doubtless be traced to the fact that he planned to have 
the expense bourne by the Mission Fathers. 

After Sola there followed two Governors who did little for edu- 
cation. Education was at a low ebb in Los Angeles at this time. 
It was the close of the Spanish period and the beginning of the 
Mexican regime. There was some disorder and civil strife accom- 
panying the transition, and at such times the pioneer finds it easier 
to sacrifice education than other things, — such was the case in Cali- 
fornia. How different from the attitude of the nations concerned 
in the Great War of 1914-18, during which all struggled to preserve 
the efficiency of their schools. 

Commencing with 1827, there was school in Los Angeles at 
varying intervals for four years. The teacher was Luciano Valdez. 
His term of service would indicate that he must have been a good 
teacher or there must have been difficulty in getting any other old 
soldier to do the work. The following will show the changes in 
personnel of the teachers of Los Angeles up to the American period : 
1831 — ^Joaquin Botiller. 

1832 — Vicente Moraga; received $15 a month. 
1833— Cristoval Aguilar; $15 a month. 
1834 — Francisco Pontoja ; received $15 a month, but asked for $20 a 

month, and was discharged. 
1836 — They tried to get an army officer to teach, but for a time no 
one qualified. Finally, Ensign Guadalupe Medina was granted 

56 Historical Society of Southern California 

leave of absence to act as preceptor. He appeared to have 
been a very efficient teacher, but civil war was raging between 
Monterey and Los Angeles and school was very irregular. 
1838-42 — Ignacio Coronel and daughter opened a school on the 
Lancastrian plan of using pupil teachers to assist in the 
instruction. The teachers were still receiving only $15 a 
1842-4-1 — Guadalupe Medina was again employed, but he now re- 
ceived $500 a year. 
184^1 — Luis Arguello taught for $40 a month. 

1845 — Guadalupe Medina again taught for $500 ai year, but the 

school lasted only a few months. The American conquest 

was on, and there were other things to think of for the next 

five years. 

In the Herald History of Los Angeles, Willard says that in the 

sixty-six years from the founding of the city to the American 

occupation, there were only ten years of school in all, and the 

longest continuous period was from 1838 to 1844. The other four 

years were scattered over sixty years of time. The teachers 

usually received $15 a month and were very poorly prepared for 

their work. 'They were frequently summoned before the City 

Council to explain why there had been no school for the last week 

or so, and the answer was usually given that the pupils had all run 


C. H. Shinn remarks that Governor Alvarado was one of the 
best educated of the native Californians, and was deeply interested 
in education, but that he had many political difficulties, and the 
schools suffered accordingly. Governor Micheltorena, the last Span- 
ish Governor, did what he could to encourage education. In a 
single year he gave many silver medals and a gold medal to the 
most deserving pupils. Some of the medals and the exercises which 
won them are still in existence. He visited all the schools, and 
imported several teachers on contracts of $1200 a year. These 
were supposed to be experts, and they received much more than 
the ordinary untrained teacher who did most of the teaching. 

Bancroft gives a list of fifty-four teachers who were imported 
between 1794 and 1846, indicating! where they taught and what 
salaries they received. Most of them remained only a short time, 
evidently becoming discouraged with the prospects or dissatisfied 
wdth life on the frontier. It was a hard life, and there was little 
to repay them for the sacrifices demanded. The people showed 
little interest in education, and that was discouraging. At one time 
Monterey provided for its school fund by a tax on liquors, but the 
merchants would not pay the tax, and the schools had to close. 

There was occasionally a successful school during the Mexican 
period, and a description of one such school will serve to show 
what the difficulties of the pedagogue were in those days. In 1839, 

EducatiOxN in California During the Pre-Statehood Period 57 

General Jose Castro imported two "excellent teachers", Sefior En- 
rique Cambuston, a Frenchman of long Spanish training-, and Don 
Jose Campina, a Cuban. They opened a school in Monterey in 
1840, and soon had the best school north of Los Angeles and the 
most advanced one in the Province. It was held in an old adobe 
building near the Presidio, and had about one hundred pupils, some 
of whom came twenty miles on horseback every day. Their text- 
books were mostly manuscript, made by the teachers and their pupils. 
C. H. Shinn tells us that the Castro family of Monterey County 
had in an attic an old rawhide sack strapped to a rafter, and that 
among the old papers found in this sack were some fragments of 
manuscript texts, written between 1835 and 1845. Most of them 
had been prepared under the direction of Cambuston. In the set 
were found three classes of school work, roughly classified as 
follows : 

1. Drawing. 

Parts of faces and hands. 

Drawing of statuary from some classical dictionary. 

Simple architectural forms. 

2. Maps. 

Of Europe, Spain and Mexico in outline. 

3. Text-books. 

Grammar, definer, arithmetic, geography and Ancient and Mod- 
ern history. 

The most interesting of these text-books was the Historia, which 
in thirty pages gave accounts of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar 
and other celebrities. The geography was a catalog of gulfs, rivers, 
bays, lakes, mountains, islands, countries and cities. They were 
mostly South American and Mexican names, as we would be led 
to expect. The author states that the maps from which they were 
compiled must have been very old and meagre, as the mountains 
of Africa were given as Luna, Kong, Atlas, Lupata, Camerons and 
"Los Montes del Sol". The oceans were given as : Pacific — El 
Grande Oceano ; Arctic — Mar Glacial del Norte ; Antarctic — Mar 
Glacial del Sur. 

Among the countries, Canada was spoken of as Nueva Bretana. 

The definer contained a few hundred words and' their translations 
into English. Just why this should be does not seem clear, as 
English was not the familiar language of the people. There were 
no sentences in the definer, and the definitions were very crude. 

General Castro, in whose home these remnants of school books 
were found, had whole rooms full of scraps which he had saved. 
This, according to the above author, was a Spanish custom, brought 
down from the days of necessity, when even wrapping paper was 
very precious. Every small fragment of paper was saved, and 
manuscripts were frequently written on scrap paper and on the fly 
leaves of books. 

58 Historical Society of Southern California 

Pupils were frequently given the task of copying the text-book 
of some other pupil ; and they would copy the mistakes as well as 
the correct portions of the books, and there would thus be perpetuated 
many childish blunders which should never have seen light. The 
writing on these old manuscripts is fair. Each name has a "rubrica" 
or flourish, the same being considered necessary to the legality of any 
document which the individual signed. This "rubrica" would some- 
times be characteristic of a whole family. 

We have to pass over the years 1845-46 as being practically 
barren of organized effort along educational lines in California. 
The war with the United States was on and the uncertainty of the 
future deterred the people from launching any new venture, or even 
supporting the old. After the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, there 
was still an uncertainty. The United States waited four years 
from the conquest to make California an integral part of the Union, 
and during all that time there was a corresponding waiting on the 
part of the people. They were anxious to know what the plans of 
the future were to be. 

We are told that one Marston, a Mormon, started a school in 
San Francisco in 1847, but he did not continue at his task very 
long. Everybody was going to the ''diggings" in those exciting 
days, and he, could not be blamed for joining with the others. 
Monroe tells us that the Town Council of San Francisco ordered 
a school house to be built in that year, but we have no record of 
the work having been) done. However, in 1848, they elected a 
School Board and employed a teacher. They began with six pupils, 
but the school soon increased to thirty-seven. Then came the gold 
strike. The school dwindled to eight and was soon closed. This 
school, like that of Marston, was private. The teacher was a Mr. 
Douglas, and the school was conducted in the Baptist Church. 

In 1849, Mr. and Mrs. John C. Pelton arrived from Boston and 
opened a school in San Francisco on the New England plan. In 
a few months this was taken over as the first free public school 
of the city. They received a salary of $500 a month, it being 
during the gold excitement, and they conducted the school for about 
two years. 

In 1850, a school, committee was appointed from among the 
members of the City Council of Los Angeles, who were to act as a 
School Board. They found it very difficult to find a teacher, owing 
to the disturbances of the times, but finally a Mr. Hugh Owens 
agreed to teach the school, but we have no record of the kind of 
school he conducted. Earlier in the same year, there had been a 
school conducted by Francesco Bustamente, the last to be conducted 
in the Spanish language. His contract was with Don Abel Stearns, 
and he agreed to teach the scholars to read and count, and so far 
as he was capable to teach them orthography and good morals. He 

Education in California During the Pre-Statehood Period 59 

was to receive $60 a month and $20 a month for the rent of a school 

With the exception of the primitive schools of which we have 
written, there was very little opportunity for education in California 
during the pre-statehood period. These constituted the only educa- 
tional facilities of the people of the middle class, and the poorer 
classes were quite neglected. Private tutors were employed by the 
more wealthy people when they could be found, and then there was 
always the possibility of such parents sending their sons abroad to 
be educated. Many were sent to Mexico City or to the Sandwich 
Islands, and a few found their way to the schools in the eastern 
part of our country. Among the families of Los Angelesi who 
were able to employ tutors are mentioned the Sepulvedas, the 
Yorbas, and the Dominguez families. These must have been indeed 
the aristocracy of the land, and their lot, poor at the best, must 
have been far easier than that of their neighbors. Those days are 
gone and better and happier ones have come. Who could wish 
them back? 





One of the most serious problems of early California life was 
the lack of local and transcontinental transportation facilities. While 
this situation was naturally most acute during the abnormal period 
of the gold rush, yet even with the coming of a more settled and 
regular order of society the convenience and economic development 
of the people of the State suffered for many years because of inade- 
quate means of communication. 

To ameliorate these conditions, efforts of various kinds were 
put forth from time to time, sometimes on individual initiative, 
sometimes through state or national legislation. Road building 
was naturally regarded as one of the essential elements in solving 
the difficulty, and was undertaken both at private and public expense. 
In September, 1854, for instance, some of the people of Los Angeles 
raised $6,000 for the construction of a wagon road between Fort 
Tejon and Los Angeles. The work was completed in December 
of the same year.^ In 1855 the California Legislature appropriated 
$100,000 for a road through Johnston's cut-off in the Sierra Nevada 
Mountains ; $20,000 for a road from San Pedro through Cajon Pass 
to the State line, in the direction of Salt Lake City ; and $7,000 for 
a road from San Diego over the desert to the Colorado River." 

About the same time the Federal Government voted $50,000 
for the Los Angeles-Salt Lake road, upon which one of the earliest 
overland mail services was afterward inaugurated.^ 

As the State grew in population and cities increased both in 
number and size, travel necessarily became greater and a very 
marked commercial development took place. To meet these growing 
needs, local transportation companies sprang up like mushrooms. 
Nearly all of these carried freight, passengers, express or mail, as 
the opportunity arose. ]\Iany of them grew into large and flour- 
ishing companies, and played a very vital part in the upbuilding 
of the State. 

The most important of these local transportation companies, 
with headquarters in Los Angeles, was that of Alexander and Ban- 
ning. As early as 1854 this firm had 500 mules, 30 or 40 horses, 
40 wagons, and 15 stages running between Los Angeles and San 

1. Hayes Collection (Bancroft Library, University of California), Southern California 
Local History, H, 86. 

2. Ibid., V, 301. 

3. California Star, December 13, 1856 (Hayes Collection) 


Transportation in California Before the Railroads 61 

Pedro, Two other lines were also operated between the same cities, 
one by Lanfranco and Sepulveda, and the other by Banning's chief 
rival, A. W. Timmes.* 

The fastest time on record over this route is said to have been 
1 hour and 18 minutes for the entire twenty-seven miles, including 
three changes of horses. It was made by an express rider bringing 
the news of Buchanan's election from the mail steamer at San 
Pedro to Los Angeles in 1856.° 

Besides San Pedro, Salt Lake was another city with which 
Los Angeles had important commercial relations. In 1854 the 
Adams Express Company began a monthly service between San 
Francisco and Salt Lake, by way of Los Angeles. From the latter 
city the route, according to the company's advertisement, included 
the following settlements : El Monte, San Bernardino, Cold Creek, 
Johnston's Springs, Parowan, Ked Creek, Fillmore City, Nephi 
City, Summit Creek, Payson's, Provo City, and American Fork." 
The following year the California Stage Company added a line of 
stages to this route ; and of more importance still, a very considerable 
freight business sprang up between the two cities. This was 
rendered all the more important because heavy winter snows ordi- 
narily shut off communication between Salt Lake and St. Louis 
on the one hand, and San Francisco on the other, during a large 
part of the year, leaving the Los Angeles-Salt Lake route the only 
available source of supply for the Mormon settlements. To take 
advantage of this "natural monopoly", Hopkins and Robbins of 
San Bernardino set out on April 15th, 1855, with several wagons 
and a very considerable amount of freight for Salt Lake ; while 
twelve days later Alexander and Banning, with W. T. B. Sanford, 
left Los Angeles with fifteen ten-mule teams and some thirty tons 
of merchandise, valued at about $20,000. Freight charges ranged 
from 18 to 25 cents a pound.^ 

As trade developed, large amounts of goods were sent from 
San Francisco by water to San Pedro for trans-shipment overland 
to Salt Lake. A hundred tons of such freight, it is said, were 
stored in Los Angeles warehouses at one time awaiting trans- 
portation to the Utah settlements.® 

Other local routes were opened from time to time in addition to 
those just mentioned. Wells-Fargo & Company operated between 
Los Angeles and the Tejon. Alexander and Banning ran freight 
wagons from Mojave and Yuma to Los Angeles, and in 1855 put 
on a weekly stage from the latter city to the newly discovered 
mining fields of the Kern River." 

Important, however, as these local lines were to the economic 

4. Southern News, Sept. 14, 1854 (Hayes Collection). 

5. Star, Dec. 6, 1856. 

6. Hayes Collection, So. Cal. Local Hist.. II; HI; V; 355. 

7. Star, April 14, 28; May 2, 30; Nov. 2, 1855. 

8. Hayes Collection, So. Cal. Local Hist., V, 78. 

9. Southern California, Feb. 1, 8, 1855. 

62 Historical Society of Southern California 

welfare of the communities they served, the vital interest of the 
Californian lay in the problem of transcontinental communication, 
particularly as this applied to the transmission of mail and of eastern 
news. For nearly ten years after the discovery of gold, with the 
few exceptions to be noted elsewhere, the people of the state were 
compelled to rely wholly upon the Pacific Mail Steamship Company 
for this highly important service. 

Although the company drew an annual subsidy of $700,000 for 
carrying a monthly mail between New York and San Francisco, it 
performed its functions in a most abominable manner, if the litera- 
ture of the time is at all to be relied upon. Even when the service 
was made semi-monthly in 1851, the southern part of the state still 
suffered most exasperating delays in receiving its long over due 
mail. Letters from New York were sometimes seven or eight 
months reaching Los Angeles, since the vessels of the company 
frequently failed to stop at San Diego on either northward or 
southward voyage, but carried the Los Angeles mail from the Isthmus 
to San Francisco and back again to Panama, with fine disregard 
for the impatient people of Southern California.^** 

Regularly appointed postmasters were rare; and many a good 
sized community was entirely without mail facilities. Even the 
people of San Bernardino, a town at that time of 500 inhabitants, 
were compelled to go more than sixty miles to Los Angeles to find 
the nearest postoffice. 

The Californians, especially those of the southern part of the 
state, were naturally anxious to end such a state of aflfairs, and 
had long been agitating for a regular overland mail service to the 
eastern states. Prior to 1857, indeed, a few abortive attempts 
had been made by Congress and private individuals to inaugurate 
such a service, but the people of the state derived little immediate 
good from such eiiforts. The most ambitious undertaking of this 
kind was that of Absalom Woodward and George Chorpenning, 
with whom the United States Government contracted, April 25th, 
1851, for a monthly mail service each way between Salt Lake City 
and Sacramento. The first route followed "was along the regular 
emigrant road through Placerville, crossing the Sierras at Carson's 
Canyon, then following along Carson and Humboldt Rivers, and 
around the northern end of the lake to Salt Lake City". Thirty 
days was allowed for the journey ; but though the route was only 
about 900 miles in length, the winter found it impassable, and 
Chorpenning was obliged to abandon it during several months of 
each year for the much more circuitous plan of sending the mails 
to San Pedro by sea and thence overland to Salt Lake. Indian 
attacks on this northern route were also frequent, even in summer. 
So, while the Government su'bsidy, which amounted to only $14,000 
a year, was afterwards increased, and' a shorter road opened between 

10. Hayes Collection, So. Cal. Local Hist.. V, 330, 331, 335, 347. 

Transportation in California Before the Railroads 63 

Placerville and Salt Lake, through northern Nevada, Chorpenning's 
project never gave adequate service, nor repaid the contractors by 
several hundred thousand dollars for the money and labor invested.^' 

The chief reasons for this slow development o£ the overland 
mail service on a large scale were, first, the very powerful and 
well-organized opposition of the Pacific Mail to a rival carrier ; 
and, second, the intense sectional jealousy between Northern and 
Southern California, and of western and southern states as to 
the location of the route. Almost every emigrant trail running 
into the state was looked upon by its particular advocate as the 
only line over which the mails should be carried, but eventually 
the contest narrowed down to three main routes. 

The first of these, much frequented by early immigrants, ran from 
Independence, Missouri, and later from St. Joseph, to Salt Lake, 
by way of Fort Laramie, Brid'ger, and the South Pass. Over this 
part of the route a monthly mail service was almost continuously 
maintained by various contractors^^ from 1850 on, both to serve 
the Mormon settlements in Utah and the United States military 
forces operating in those regions. But from Salt Lake to Cali- 
fornia this northern route was almost impassable during the winter 
months, as Chorpenning found by hard experiment. 

The second much discussed route left Springfield, Missouri, fol- 
lowed the Canadian River for some distance, passed through Albu- 
querque, eventually reached the Mojave River, and there turned 
northward to the Tejon Pass. From the Tejon, one branch led to Los 
Angeles, while another continued up the San Joaquin! Valley to 
San Jose and San Francisco. This route, commonly known as 
the 35° route, or Beale's, was apparently the most favored of the 
three by mail contractors. 

The southern route, which eventually obtained the Government 
subsidy, will be described in detail later. It is sufficient here to 
point out that while considerably longer than either of its rivals, 
and running for much of the way through barren or even desert 
country, it had the great advantage of being open the year round 
and was thus considered the most available of the three. '^ 

In the closing hours of Pierce's administration, the "Overland 
California Mail" bill, after a deal of wrangling, eventually passed 
Congress. Under the terms of this act the'; Postmaster General 
was empowered to advertise for bids for the transportation of all 
letter mail from the Mississippi to San Francisco. The contract 
was to run for six years and called for a subsidy of $300,000 

11. Owfn C. Coy, "The Pony Express Antedated," The Grizzly Bear, February, 1917. 

12. Root and Connelly, Overland Stage to California, pp. \'l. 

13. For a full description of the three routes see the New York Herald, Sept., 1858. 
(Hayes Collection, San Diego, II. 86). 

A semi-monthly mail was already in operation between San Antonio and San Diego. This 
ran over the so-called Jim Birch route, through the Pecos Valley, to the 31st parallel, thence 
to El Paso, Yuma. Warner's Ranch, and San Diego. N. Y. Herald, Sept.. 1858. 

64 Historical Society of Southern California 

annually for semi-monthly; $450,000 for weekly, or $600,000 for 
semi-weekly service, as the Postmaster General should decide/* Nine 
bids were made for this contract, but the award finally went to the 
Butterfield Overland Mail Company, a concern closely affiliated 
with Wells-Fargo & Company, and controlled almost entirely by 
New York stockholders. St. Louis was made the great depot of 
supply by the company ; and since the southern route was chosen 
for the conveyance of the mails, all sections of the country, as a 
contemporary newspaper pointed out, thus shared the advantages 
of the contract on nearly equal terms. ^^ 

The route of the Overland Mail, as Butterfield's Company came 
to be known, can best be shown from the following table of distances 
and time printed in a newspaper of the period :^® 

Miles Hrs. Min. 

San Francisco to Los Angeles 464 80 :00 

Los Angeles to Fort Yuma • 280 72 :20 

Fort Yuma to Tucson 280 71:45 

Tucson to Franklin (El Paso) . . . . • 360 82 :00 

Franklin to Fort Chadbourne 428 128 :40 

Fort Chadbourne to Colbert's Ferry (Red River) 283 62:25 

Colbert's Ferry to Fort Smith 192 38 :00 

Fort Smith to Tipton 313 48:55 

Tipton to St. Louis (Railroad)..- 160 11:40 

Between Los Angeles and San Francisco the route passed 
through San Jose, Gilroy, Pachecho Pass, Fresno City, Visalia, 
Fort Tejon, French John's, San Fernando and a score of other 
points which at that time enjoyed a name and a reputation. ^^ 

From St. Louis to San Francisco the postage in first-class mail 
was 3 cents a half ounce. Three sacks of letters, averaging 170 
pounds in weight, and a newspaper bag, of about 140 pounds, were 
usually carried by each coach. These coaches were substantially 
built, drawn by four or six mules or horses, and at a pinch could 
accommodate six passengers. They traveled day and night, running 
on a maximum schedule of twenty-five days for the entire trip. 
This maximum, however, was seldom reached, and where delays 
occurred they were usually the result of Indian attack or flooded 
rivers. There was some irregularity, however, in the mail service 
between Memphis and Fort Smith, and as the Butterfield stages 
picked up the southern mail at this point for conveyance to Cali- 
fornia, such irregularity frequently interfered with the schedule. 
Probably the quickest trip on record was made in 1859 when the 
mail leaving St. Louis September 16th reached Los Angeles on 
October 3rd, having been on the road seventeen days, six hours 
and ten minutes.^^ 

14. Root and Connelly,, 6-7. 

15. Philadelphia Enquirer, (Hayes Collection, San Diego, II, 20.) 

16. Hayes, So. Cal. Local History, IV, 119. 

17. Ibid. 

18. Star, Nov. 12, 1859. 

Transportation in California Before the Railroads 65 

The business of the Butterfield Company was conducted in a 
thoroughly systematic manner and on a very large scale. The 
equipment consisted of more than a hundred Concord coaches, a 
thousand horses, and five hundred mules, while nearly eight hundred 
men were in the employ of the company.^^ Stations were built, 
wherever possible, at ten-mile intervals, the Government allowing 
320 acres of land for building and grazing purposes at each station. 
The buildings were commonly made of adobe ; and wherever Indian 
dangers threatened, a guard of twenty or twenty-five men protected 
the company's property and stock or accompanied the coach through 
the hostile country. -° 

The fare from Memphis or St. Louis to San Francisco was $200. 
Passengers had to furnish their own meals but were given facilities 
for preparing them at the company stations. Each passenger was 
allowed to carry forty pounds of baggage without cost. He was 
advised to equip himself for the journey with the following outfit: 
One Sharp's rifle and a hundred cartridges ; a Colt's navy revolver and 
two pounds of balls ; a knife and sheath ; a pair of thick boots and 
woolen pants ; a half dozen pairs of thick cotton socks ; six under- 
shirts ; three woolen undershirts ; a wide-awake hat ; cheap sack 
coat, and soldier's overcoat ; one pair of blankets in summer and 
two in winter ; a piece of India rubber cloth, a pair of gauntlets, 
a small bag of needles, pins, etc. ; two pair of thick drawers, three 
or four towels, and various toilet articles.-^ 

The Overland Mail was looked upon by all right-minded South- 
ern Californians as a local institution, or at least as belonging 
principally to the southern part of the state. Northern California 
was somewhat chagrined at the choice of the southern route, while 
many of the states of the Mississippi Valley likewise felt agrieved at 
the Postmaster General's decision. Although a mail service was 
maintained between Placerville and St. Joseph, Missouri, by way of 
Salt Lake ; and a line was supposed to run from Stockton to Kansas 
City by way of Albuquerque, neither of these could compete suc- 
cessfully with the Butterfield subsidy.^^ 

Partly, therefore, as a result of this sectional rivalry and partly 
to meet a real economic need, one of the most spectacular of western 
institutions was inaugurated in the spring of 1860. This was the 
long famous Pony Express, more important from the standpoint 
of romance than of commercial success. The first trip of this new 
and short-lived enterprise was begun amid great enthusiasm. From 
the San Francisco Bulletin of April 7th, 1860, comes this description: 

"From 1 o'clock till a quarter to 4 on Tuesday last, a clean- 
limbed, hardy little nankeen colored pony stood at the door of the 

19. Root and Connelly. 11. 

20. Hayes Collection, So. Cal. Local Hist.. V, 396, 403. 

21. Hayes Collection, San Diepo Local, II, 50, 61. 

22. Root and Connelly (p. 6) .state that only two letters and twenty-six 
newspapers were received at Stockton from Kansas City in nine months. The 
Government paid $80,000 for this service. 

66 Historical Society of Southern California 

Alta Telegraph Company's office — the pioneer pony of the famous 
express which that day began its first trip across the continent. 
The little fellow looked all unaware of his famous future. Two 
little flags adorned his head-stall, from the pommel of his saddle 
hung, on each side, a bag lettered "Overland Pony Express". The 
broad saddle, wooden stirrups, immense flappers to guard the rider's 
feet, and the girth that knows no buckle, were of the sort customary 
in California for swift horsemen who appreciate mud. At a quarter 
to 4 he took up his line of march to the Sacramento boat. Personally, 
he will make short work, and probably be back in a day; but by 
proxy he will put the West behind his heels like a very Puck, and 
be in at New York in thirteen days from this writing. At 3 o'clock 
the letters he had to carry numbered 53 ; probably his whole car^o 
will be 75 or 80 letters at $5 each. Those which use both pony 
and telegraph expect to be landed in New York in nine days after 
quitting San Francisco."-^ 

The figures in this typical western venture were picked with 
great care and represented the hardiest and bravest of western 
men. Each rider was provided with a complete buckskin suit with 
hair on the outside to shed the rain. He also carried four Colt's 
six shooters, eight inches in length ; and a knife' eighteen inches 
long, with a tube containing mercury running along the back. 
When a blow was struck, the mercury, by rushing toward the 
point of the blade, added its weight to the force of the rider's arm. 
Each man rode a stretch of one hundred miles, though on occasion 
riders were known to carry the mail three times the regular distance 
without rest or sleep. Eleven hours was the maximum time allowed 
for the hundred miles, and each rider was required to make at least 
400 miles a week.-* 

The Pony Express, except in the hardest weather, furnished a 
much more rapid service than the Overland Mail, but its charges 
were high,"^ it had no government subsidy, and its route was 
subject to serious blockades by snow. This last difficulty sometimes 
furnished the good citizens of Los Angeles with cause for rejoicing. 
When, for example, in February, 1861, the dispatches brought by 
the Overland Mail to Los Angeles were telegraphed to San Fran- 
cisco, arriving there ahead of the Pony Express, a great celebration 
was held in the southern metropolis in honor of the Overland Mail 
and the Pacific and Atlantic Telegraph.^** And it may be remarked 
in passing that a celebration in the Los Angeles society of the sixties 
was always carried out with spirit and fervor — a large part of 
which, whatever the occasion, came out of kegs, bottles, and other 
containers of potential enthusiasm. 

With the outbreak of the Civil War, the Butterfield mail service, 

23. Hayes Collection, So. CaL Local Hist., V. 104. 

24. Hayes Collection, So. Cal. Local Hist., VIII, 223. 

25. The rates were afterwards reduced from $5 to $1.50. 

26. "Star", Feb. 9, 1861. 

Transportation in California Before the Railroads 67 

since it ran through southern territory the larger part of the way, 
was discontinued. Part of the equipment owned by the company 
was seized by the Confederates ; part was sold to the Central Over- 
land California and Pike's Peak Express (C. O. C. & P. P.), a 
recently organized and very powerful company, operating between 
Salt Lake and Atchison, Missouri ; while the remainder was used to 
establish a line between Salt Lake and Virginia City, Nevada.-' 

This line was soon run in connection with the Pioneer Stage 
from Virginia City to Sacramento, and with the C. O. C. & P. P., 
from Salt Lake to Atchison, thus establishing a through service 
from Sacramento to the Missouri. A daily mail service was soon 
inaugurated over this route and a schedule maintained under which 
each coach made a minimum of 112 miles a day. The presiding 
genius of the new overland line was the widely known Ben Holladay. 
Obtaining an annual subsidy of $1,000,000 for the transmission of 
through and local mails between Atchison and Sacramento, Holladay 
enlarged his equipment, improved the passenger service, and ex- 
tended his business so successfully that he finally had some 3300 
miles of stage lines under his control. In 1866, he sold his entire 
business to the Wells-Fargo interests, a company that had already 
gotten possession of the Pioneer Stage and the original Overland 

In 1868 the Government granted Wells-Fargo a yearly subsidy 
of $1,750,000 for a daily mail service to California. Stages were 
restored to the old Butterfield route, but the age of railroads was at 
hand and the day of the overland stage came to an end. It had 
served its purpose, however, by writing a new chapter in western 
romance and breaking down the isolation of a state. 

27. Hayes Collection, So. Cal. Local Hist., V, 409. 

28. Root and Connelly, 47, 49. 




In these days of heavy sugar consumption it is ahnost impossible 
to imagine the time when this article could be purchased only 
from the apothecary's shop in small quantities, or when a Queen 
of France had for her year's allowance four rather small loaves of 
sugar, valued at $5.75 a pound.^ 

Cane sugar is an older article of commerce than beet sugar. It 
is supposed to have come from India, and was referred to by the 
Europeans as "the sweet sticks of the East". When the Byzantines 
conquered Persia in 627 A. D., sugar formed part of the booty. 
From the Greek Empire the sugar trade soon passed westward 
to Venice and Spain. The former city 'became the sugar market 
of the world in the fourteenth century, following the discovery of 
the art or refining.- 

The sugar beet was known to the Romans and cultivated by 
them, but they were ignorant of any method of sugar extraction 
from the beet. Returning barbarians from the Roman Empire 
carried the beet into Bohemia, where it was cultivated, but not for 
its sugar content.^ 

The epoch-making discovery of extracting sugar from the beet 
was made in 1747 by a German chemist of Berlin University, 
Andrew S. Marggraf. His discovery did not yield immediate 
consequences, and was forgotten for half a century, when Francis 
Karl Achard, a pupil of Marggraf, improved upon his master's 
process, and in 1799 invented an elaborate process for extracting 
sugar from the beet on a large scale.* Achard had succeeded in 
enlisting the support of Frederick the Great in his experiments. 
Through the substantial support of his new process on the part of 
Frederick William III, a small factory with a capacity of 4,400 
pounds of beets daily was erected at Cunern, Silesia, the first beet 
sugar factory in the world.^ 

Achard's reports produced great excitement in Europe. Napoleon 
Bonaparte appointed a commission of ten members from the French 
National Institute to investigate the merits of the discovery. While 
the findings of this commission did not bear out all of Achard's 
claims, yet two small factories were built near Paris, and for ten 

1. Harper's Weekly, LIV. 24. 

2. Palmer, Truman G., Concerning Sugar, C14. 

3. Ibid.. C14. 

4. Jodidi, S. L., Sugar Beets and Beet Sugar, 1. 


History of the Beet Sugar Industry in California 69 

years field and factory experiments were carried on under the 
direction of M. Maximan Isnard. When, in 1811, Isnard's report 
was submitted to Napoleon, this farsighted statesman saw at once 
the tremendous possibilities in the sugar beet. He knew the 
dependence of France upon the sugar from the tropics, especially 
the West Indies. This supply was cut ofif now owing to England's 
continental blockade, and sugar was selling in France for $1.00 
per pound." Moreover, France was on the verge of starvation. 
The old three-field system of agriculture was still in use with all 
its waste, the soil worn out, and the crop yields low. 

Such were the circumstances in France at the time, and Napoleon 
realized that a large scale cultivation of the beet would not only 
make France independent of tropical sugars, but would also restore 
fertility to her soils. So, by a series of decrees, Napoleon virtually 
became the father of the beet sugar industry. The first of these 
was issued March 18, 1811. In this he commanded his Minister 
of the Interior to encourage sugar beet culture by modifying the 
tariff or prohibiting importation of any colonial sugar, to establish 
schools for the teaching of beet sugar manufacture, and to devote 
60,000 arpents (75,000 acres) to sugar beet growing.^ 

On March 23, 1811, Napoleon appropriated one million francs 
($200,000) for the estabhshment of six technical beet sugar schools, 
and forced the peasants to plant 32,000 hectares (79, (M) acres) to 
sugar beets the following season.* Sugar importation from the 
Indies was prohibited after January 1st, 1813.^ 

January 15th, 1812, Napoleon decreed that 100 students should 
be selected from schools of medicine, pharmacy, and chemistry, 
and transferred to his technical beet sugar schools, and that ISO.OCX) 
acres be sown to beets. Financial inducements were also to be 
made to scientists for the further perfection of the process of manu- 
facture, and to capitalists to engage in the industry. Appropriation 
was also made for four imperial beet sugar factories.^" 

Raising sugar beets at once became popular. ^^ Early in 1812, 
forty factories were in operation, working 98.813 tons of beets 
annually, with a total output of 3,300,000 pounds of sugar.^- In 
1913, the number of factories in France had reached 334, and the 
output 7,700,000 pounds of refined sugar.^^ In this one year France 

5. Cf. Palmer, T. G., op. cit., CU, and Jodidi. S. L.. op. cit., 2. 

6. Cf. Jodidi, S. L.. op. ctt., 2. and Palmer. T. G.. op. cit.. C14. 

7. Palmer, T. G., op. at., CI4. 

8. Ibid., C14. 

9. Continental System no longer in force. 

10. Palmer, T. G., op. ctt., CIS. 

11. As all other constructive enterprises are all more or less subjected to ridicule at the 
beginning, so the beet sugar industry came in for its share. A contemporary cartoon shows a 
stern nurse holding to the lips of the infant King of Rome a sugar beet, with the admonition, 
"Suck it, dear, your father says it's sugar!" See Facts .About Sugar, III, 311, (Nov. 18, 

12. Jodidi, S. L., op. cit., 2. 

13. Palmer. T. G., op. ctt., CH. 

70 Historical Society of Southern California 

erected four times as many factories as the United States has in 
the first eighty years after the erection of the first factory.^* 

The creation of such a great industry is one of Napoleon's 
greatest achievements, and from the standpoint of usefulness and 
constructive statesmanship outweighs his conquests and ranks well 
with his Code. Indeed, it has been said that he would go down in 
history with the Code of Napoleon in one hand and a sugar beet in 
the other. 

This flourishing industry received a temporary setback with 
the annullment of the continental blockade and the downfall of 
Napoleon. Cane sugar on the European markets was very cheap, 
and this was a severe blow to the new industry. Several factories 
were compelled to close. Sugar factories in Germany were con- 
verted into industrial establishments, but in France, owing to more 
advanced methods of sugar extraction and refining, some factories 
survived. ^^ When, about 1825-1830, the price of grain fell, the 
farmers took up beet raising again, and from that time until the 
present war the industry has been constantly expanding. 

Experiments in sugar beet growing spread to other countries 
of Europe: to Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Holland, Russia, Den- 
mark, Sweden, Italy. All of the European countries except Norway 
and England raise the sugar beet for commercial production. 

From such modest beginnings, the sugar beet industry has 
grown rapidly, until preceding the outbreak of the great war 
several countries in Europe produced enough for home consumption 
and had some to spare for exportation.^® The following statistics 
from the chief beet sugar producing countries of Europe will show 
to what extent the production has increased from such small begin- 
nings. Incidentally, it will also show the effects of the war upon 
the output: 


[In Tons of 2,000 Pounds) 

1836 1916-17 1915-16 1914-15 1913-14 

Germany 1,500 1,653,450 1,543,220 2,755,750 3,003,768 

Russia 1,377,875 1,617,180 2,196,637 1,918,433 

Austria-Hungary 1,041,674 1,114,866 1,766,252 1,865,092 

France 40,000 203,926 149,801 333,954 860,892 

The World, Beet Sugar 6,147,123 6,421,912 9,051,767 9,827,006 

Not only has tonnage been increased but the per cent of sugar 
in the beet is greater. Whereas, in 1836-1837 the per cent of 

14. Palmer, op. cit., E34. 

15. To be exact, only two factories survived. See Freeman, W. G., and Chandler, S. B., 
World's Commercial Products, 108; Facts About Sugar, III, 311. 

16. Previous to the war Germany exported on the average 872.888 tons of raw and refined 
sugar, or 37% of her production ; Austria-Hungary exported 848.629 tons, or 51% ; Russia, 
293,156 tons, or 18% of her output. Compiled from U. S. Bureau of Foreign and Domestic 
Commerce, Miscellaneous Series, No. 53, The Cane Sugar Industry, 442-444. 

17. Palmer, T. G., op. at., CIS. 

History of the Beet Sugar Industry in California 71 

sugar content in Germany was only 5.55, in 1906-1907 it averaged 
14.86, and in later years has been even better than this.^^ 

The reason for this has been two-fold. The farmers were 
inexperienced in sugar beet growing and supplied the factory with 
a very poor beet. It is the grower who helps nature to store 
sugar in the beet by intelligent cooperation in the process. The 
manufacturer only extracts the sugar. But here was the second 
drawback : factory managers were also inexperienced and lost a 
great part of the sugar by inferior methods of extraction. Both 
of these problems have been solved, the farmer raising beets high 
in sucrose, and the manufacturer extracting as high as 98 per cent 
of the same. 


The earlier experiments in growing sugar beets and manufac- 
turing sugar from the beet in the United States met with the same 
discouragements as were encountered in Europe. The story to 
1888 is one of small establishments and numerous failures. Enter- 
prise after enterprise was launched with buoyant hope and enthu- 
siasm only to meet with the bitter discouragement of failure. Yet 
failure was only temporary ; for with boundless energy, courage, 
and endurance the pioneers in the industry left a legacy of experi- 
ence pointing out the shoals and dangers and making final success 

Three facts contribute to these early failures '.-^ 

1. Because of a lack of scientific information the methods of 
culture and extraction were crude ; 

2. Many experiments were made in parts of the country where 
conditions of culture were not favorable ; 

3. Competition with tropical sugars, the production of which 
was established. 

The modern period began in 1888. In contrast with the small 
undertakings and failures of the previous period stand the large 
factories and phenomenal successes of this period. There weVe 
several factors contributing to this success :-^ 

1. The time was ripe; the conditions were better understood, 

18. JodidI, S. L., op. at., 5. 

19. Mr. E. H. Dyer had four failures in 19 years. See Palmer, T. G., cp. ctt.. E37. 
The following list presents the losses due to early failures in the beet sugar industry: 

1830, Philadelphia $100,000 1878, Delaware 100,000 

1838, Northampton 100,000 1878, Portland, Me 100,000 

1863, Chatsworth 17f.000 1892, Staunton, Virginia 100,000 

1870, Fond du Lac 35,000 1896, Eddy, N. Mex 200,000 

1870, In New .Jersey 100,000 1896, Menominee Falls 200,000 

1870, Alvarado 250,000 1807. Rome, N. Y 200,000 

1870, Sacramento 75,000 1899, Pekin. Ill 50,000 

1871, Black Hawk 75,000 

1873, Isleton 100,000 $2,110,000 

1875, Soquel 75,000 

The above figures probably show half the amount actually lost; the actual figure."! will 
never be known, perhaps. See Saylor, F. C, Progress of the Beet Sugar Ir.dustry, 1902, U. S. 
Dept. of Agri. Report No. 74, p. 83. 

20. Savior, F. C, op. cit., 77. 

21. Ibid., 78. 

72 Historical Society of Southern California 

and the efforts more intelligently directed, — we were better ac- 
quainted with soils and demands of the industry ; 

2. The cost of production was reduced and the difificulty of 
competing with cane sugar was reduced ; 

3. Our situation was superior to that of Europe in that we had 
virgin lands at lower cost ; 

4. The habitat of the sugar beet brought to the manufacturer 
the highest possible scientific help and investigation. 

The first attempt to grow sugar beets in this country was at 
Ensfield, near Philadelphia, in 1830." It was a failure. In 1836, 
another attempt was made near Philadelphia by James Ronaldson, 
who, in association with several other men, sent an agent to France 
to study the beet industry. Six hundred pounds of seed were 
sent from France and sown, but no lasting results came of the 

While M. Isnard was conducting one of Napoleon's sugar schools 
at Strassburg, two Americans from Northampton. Massachusetts. 
Messrs. Edward Church and David Lee Child, became acquainted 
with him, and were interested in the industry. In the late thirties, 
after these men had returned to the United States, Isnard was 
appointed Vice-Consul at Boston, and their acquaintance was re- 
newed. All were interested in the beet sugar industry, and a 
factory was erected at Northampton, Massachusetts, 1838.-*. Here 
was produced the first beet sugar in this country. Seed was imported 
from France and distributed to the farmers. This first yield netted 
thirteen to fifteen tons per acre, with a sugar content of seven and 
one-half to nine per cent.-^. The next year 1,300 pounds of sugar 
were produced, and the Massachusetts Agricultural Society awarded 
the company a $100 prize for having produced "from the sugar beet 
beet sugar in the greatest quantity and best quality in 1839."-'^ The 
enterprise was not a success, however, and was abandoned in 1840.^^ 

In 1836, the Gennert Brothers, from Germany, selected 2,300 
acres of prairie land in the vicinity of Chatsworth, Illinois, and began 
beet culture. Backed by a banker they erected a factory of fifty 
tons capacity. Due to a series of bad harvests, coupled with insuf- 
ficient equipment in the factory, the extraction was low, and the 
enterprise was given up. The factory was moved to Freeport, 
Illinois, for one season, then to Black Hawk. Wisconsin, and later a 
portion of the machinery reached California.-^ 

During the early period of the industry, factories were also 

22. Jodidi, S. L., op. cit., 6. 

23. Palmer. T. G.. ofy. ctt., C25. 

24. Ibid., E34 and E35. 

25. Myrick. Herbert, The American Sugar Industry, 31. 

26. Palmer, T. G., cp. cit.. E35. 

27. Saylor, F. C, op. ctt., 79. 

28. Myrick, Herbert, op. ctt., 31. 

History of the Beet Sugar Industry in California 73 

erected in Utah,-** Maine, New Jersey, Delaware, Wisconsin, and 
California. All except one factory at Alvarado, California, were 
failures. At Fon du Lac, Wisconsin, Messrs. Bonesteel and Otto 
erected a small factory, made some sugar and then shipped the 
machinery to Alvarado, California,^" where the first successful enter- 
prise in the United States was launched in 1870."^ 

Heretofore the Government had not seen fit to assist the strug- 
gling industry. When at last it decided to establish an indigenous 
sugar industry, the Secretary of Agriculture took the wrong cue, 
and decided that sorghum was the future sugar producing plant. 
A great amount of money was spent in advertising its sugar possi- 
bilities, and a veritable sorghum craze resulted. This had to be 
killed before the country could be placed on the right track: this 
task was assumed by Dr. Lewis S. Ware, of Philadelphia, a brilliant 
chemist and engineer.^- He threw himself into the work with great 
enthusiasm, even spending $50,000 from his own private fortune 
in printing and circulating million^ of pamphlets, and importing 
and distributing to farmers, free of charge, several tons of sugar 
beet seed. He was successful : the Department of Agriculture was 
convinced of its mistake, and it gave the new enterprise its strong 
cooperation. This cooperation was especially favorable, beginning 
with the secretaryship of Mr. James Wilson in 1897, whose efforts 
to draw capital into this field were unceasing. 

Another ardent believer in the sugar beet was Dr. Harvey W. 
Wiley, Chief Chemist of the Department of Agriculture 1874-1913. 
His scientific analyses were published and distributed widely, aiding 
both grower and manufacturer. From the findings of an analysis 
of 8,000 beets from forty-four states, he published a map showing 
the theoretical sugar beet area of the United States.^^ While sugar 
beets are grown outside this theoretical area, the best beets are 
grown in it, and it contains practically all of the sugar beet factories 
in the country.^* 

In spite of encouragement from the Federal and State Depart- 
ments of Agriculture and interested individuals of prominence, the 
real development of the beet sugar industry dates from 1890. 
Prior to this date we produced only about one-tenth of our sugar 
at home, most of this being cane. In that year further impetus 

29. The experiment in Utah is of interest, first, because it was operated by the Mormon 
Church ; second, because of the adventures in shipping the machinery. The machniery wai 
valued at $12,500, and was purchased in Liverpool, England, shipped to and unloaded at 
New Orleans, thence sent by river boat to Fort Leavenworth and unloaded. A caravan of 
52 ox teams took it from this place, but on the way to Utah the cattle ran away, stampeded, 
and 80 died. The way was lost and the caravan came to Oregon. At one time three weeks 
were spent in traveling 40 miles. In November the caravan came to Provo, and the plant 
was erected here, but later it was moved to Salt Lake City. It operated till 1855. For a 
fuller account see Dept. of Agri. Report No. 74, 79-81. 

An intere.sting and instructive article on the Relation of the Mormon Church to the 
Sugar Trust is given by J. C. Welliver in Hampton's, XXIV, 82-89. 

30. Myrick, Herbert, op. at., 31-32. 

31. Shaw, G. W., California Sugar Industry, I, 7. 

32. Palmer, T. G., op. cit., E37. 

33. Wiley, H. W., Thf Suijar Reft, U. S. Dept. of Agric. Farmers' Bull. No. 52, p. i 

34. Palmer, T. G., op. cit., E37. 

74 Historical Society of Southern California 

was given the industry by substitution for the importation duty of 
2'c a pound in 1888, a bounty of 2c a pound to the sugar producers.^^ 
Several states followed the lead of the Federal Government, and 
added to the Federal bounty a State bounty.^*^ The Federal bounty 
in the tariff of 1890i was removed in 1894, but protection was 
maintained in this act, and also in those of 1897 and 1909.^^ 

The real impetus to the industry as a practical commercial 
enterprise, aside from those mentioned above, was furnished by 
the Oxnard Brothers, Henry T. and James G. Oxnard. These 
men had large experience as sugar refiners, had made extensive 
studies of the beet sugar industry abroad, and became convinced 
of its possibilities here. They possessed enthusiasm and ability, 
and began to conduct a campaign of education. Three factories 
were erected by them : at Grand Island, Nebraska, 1890 ; Norfolk, 
Nebraska; and Chino, California, 1891.^* The American Beet Sugar 
Manufacturers' Association was organized by them in 1891^^^ to unite 
the beet sugar producers and to secure mutual cooperation, and an 
office was established in Washington to keep in close touch with Con- 
gressional action relative to sugar.'*'^ It was through the action of 
Mr. H. T. Oxnard, and those working with him, that favorable legis- 
lation was secured in 1890."*^ 


Because of the failure of all attempts at sugar beet growing 
and manufacture outside of California prior to 1888, the opinion 
was prevalent that the beet could not be grown profitably in any 
other State. In that( year there were only two factories in the 
United States, and both of those were located close to San Fran- 

The plant at Alvarado, California, was established in 1870 by Mr. 
E. H. Dyer. Part of the machinery from the abandoned enterprise 
at Fon du Lac, Wisconsin, and the remainder was imported. The 
California Beet Sugar Company was organized with a capital stock 
of $250,000, the factory, with a capacity of fifty tons of beets per 
day, was erected at a cost of $125,000, and sugar was manufactured 
on November 17th, 1870, the first sugar to be made in this State.*^ 
In the first year 1,000 to 1,500 acres*"' of beets, for which the 

35. Taussig, F. W., Tariff History of the United States, 276. 

36. Cherington, P. T., Q. J. Econ., XXVI, 381-386. 

37. Taussig. F. W., op. cit., 309-313; 350; 395-397. 

38. Jodidi, S. L., op. ctt., 34. 

39. Myrick, Herbert, op. cit., 34. 

40. Mr. H. T. Oxnard was in charge of the Washington office until 1911, when it was 
turned over to Messrs. T. G. Palmer and C. C. Hamlin. Mr. Palmer is now in chaig;-. 
Mr. Oxnard, according to his testimony before the Senate Committe, had spent in 23 years 
$460,000 in Washington to influence legislation. The books had been destroyed so that it 
was not possible to ascertain how this money had been spent. See Thomas, C. S., in World's 
Work, XXVI. 542-543. 

41. Myrick, Herbert, op. cit., 43-45. 

42. Palmer. T. G., op. cit., E37. 

43. Shaw, G. W., op. cit., I, 8-9. 

44. Palmer, T. G., op. cit., £35. 

History of the Beet Sugar Industry in California 75 

company paid $3.50 per ton, were planted', and 500,000 pounds of 
sugar were produced at a cost of 10 cents per pound/^ Because 
of internal difficulties in the company this enterprise was a financial 
failure. The eastern parties interested in the factory transferred 
their part of the capital to Soquel, Santa Cruz County, and there, 
together with some San Francisco capitalists, erected another factory 
in 1874. 

The Sacramento Valley Sugar Company lost the distinction of 
being the first to manufacture sugar in this State because of a 
decision to delay a year in the erection of its factory. At Brighton 
this company erected a factory in 1871, at a cost of $250,000, and 
with a slicing capacity of seventy tons of beets per day.**^ This 
was the first plant in the United States to use the diffusion batter^^ 
system for extracting the sugar, which is now in universal use. 

In 1877 a factory was erected on an island in the lower Sacra- 
mento River, Isleton, for the purpose of extracting sugar from 
watermelons. This was not successful, and attention was turned 
to beets, but because of the impracticability of raising beets on 
inundated land the plant was closed in 1877, and was definitely 
abandoned after another campaign in 1880." 

Meantime the Brighton plant had closed down in 1875, after 
four years of discouragement. The Soquel factory produced sugar 
from 1874 to 1880 but went bankrupt in 1880. The Alvarado 
factory struggled on in the face of numerous difficulties following 
the difficulty among the directors of the company in 1874. After 
the failures at Brighton in 1875 and Soquel in 1880, this pioneer 
plant has the additional distinction of being the only beet sugar 
plant in existence and operation in the United States from 1880 
to 1887. In 1879 Mr. E. H. Dyer purchased from the old Alvarado 
company the factory and equipment and organized the Standard 
Beet Sugar Company with a capital of $100,000. Finding this 
capital inadequate, he reincorporated under the name of The 
Standard Sugar Refining Company, increased the capital stock to 
$200,000, and enlarged the factory to a capacity of 100 tons of 
beets daily. Although hindered by active opposition on the part 
of individuals who were opposed to the undertaking, and by keen 
competition with cheaper Hawaiian sugar, the company nevertheless 
was a financial success until 1884. During the following two years 
it had a struggling existence, and in 1886 the enterprise paid no 
dividends. A severe boiler explosion in 1886 bankrupted the com- 
pany.*^ Next year The Pacific Sugar Company was organized 
and a new factory erected and operated' one year. It was then 
sold to The Alameda Sugar Company, which still owns the factory.*® 

45. Shaw, G. W., op. at., I. 9. 

46. Ihd., 10; Also Palmer, T. G., op. at., E36. 

47. Shaw, G. W., op. at., 11-12. 

48. Ibtd., 13. 

49. Shaw, G. •W., op. at., 11-13. 

76 Historical Society of Southern California 

In 1888 Mr. Claus Spreckels, a German of considerable experi- 
ence in the sugar business, interested in Hawaiian sugar, recognized 
that it would only be a matter of years before the beet sugar would 
be in competition with the cane. He therefore decided to enter 
into the beet sugar industry also, and established a factory at 
Watsonville. California, until 1898 the largest factory in the country. 
In that year Mr. Spreckels organized The Spreckels Sugar Company, 
into which was merged The Western Beet Sugar Company at 
Watsonville, and an immense factory was erected at Salinas, now 
renamed Spreckels.°° This factory has now a capacity of 4,500 
tons of beets per day, and is the largest beet sugar factory in the 
world. °^ The factory at Watsonville was equipped both as a beet 
sugar factory and a refinery. Between "campaigns"^' it refined 
imported raw sugars, thus keeping the factory in constant operation. 
This factory was very fortunately located, the rich Pajaro Valley 
being ideal sugar beet land,, but with the erection of the large 
factory at Salinas the Watsonville factory was closed and all the 
beets from the Pajaro Valley were sent to Spreckels. 

Experiments carried on with beet growing^ in Southern Cali- 
fornia had been successful, and in 1890 the Oxnard Brothers formed 
The Chino Sugar Company and erected a plant at the present 
location of the city of Chino, which was then an open valley devoted 
to cattle raising.^^ This factory began operation in 1891, when 
13,086 tons of beets were received from 1,800 acres of land, for 
which the company paid $51,035.^* 

The Oxnard Brothers began another factory at Oxnard in 1897, 
imder the control of The Pacific Beet Sugar Company. However, 
in 1898, wheti this factory made its first run, The American Beet 
Sugar Company was organized and took over all the factories of 
the Oxnards, which numbered six, including the two at Chino and 
Oxnard. The original capacity of the Oxnard factory was 2,000 
tons per twenty-four hours. It has been enlarged recently and 
now has a capacity of 3,000 tons, next to Spreckels' the largest 
factory in the State,^'' and by some authorities held to be the model 

50. Saylor, F. C, Progress of the Beet Sugar Industry in the United States in 1899, H. of 
Rep. Doc. 699, 56th Cong. 1st Sess.. 18. 

51. Palmer. T. G.. op. cit., CIS. 

52. The period during which the factories are in operation extracting the sugar from the 
beets is called "campaign". It lasts on the average 100 days in California. The Los Ala- 
mitos factory campaign of 1917 lasted 120 days. 

53. There are at least six towns in California which owe their existence to the beet sugar 
industry, each of which grew up around a beet sugar factory : 

(a) Oxnard, 17 years ago a large plant located on an open grain ranch; to-day it is a 
model town of about 5,000 population. 

(b) Chino, formerly a cattle country. 

(c) Spreckels, a vast open valley once. 

(d) Hamilton, Glenn County, formerly an unbroken waste of abandoned grain fields. 

(e) Los Alamitos, located on waste lands, nesting places for ducks and geese, and over- 
grown with bullrushes. 

(f) Betteravia, once an open valley. 

(g) Santa Ana owes at least part of its growth to two sugar factories. 

See Edwards, P. L., What the Beet Sugar Industry is doing for this country. Overland, 
N. S.. LXIII. 556-557; also Myrick, H., op. at., 40; and Shaw, G. W., op. at., 26. 29. 35. 44. 

54. Shaw, G. W., op. at.. 26. 

55. Myrick, Herbert, op. at., Illus. Ill and opposite p. 1. 

History of the Beet Sugar Industry in California 17 

beet sugar factory in the country by virtue of its up-to-date ma- 
chinery, the arrangement, of this machinery and the buildings.^® 

In 1897 the Bixby Land Company, the owners of the Los 
Alamitos Rancho, contracted to guarantee a sufficient supply of 
beets for five years as an inducement for the establishment of a 
factory on the ranch. ^' Accordingly, Mr. J. Ross Clarke of Butte, 
Montana, organized The Los Alamitos Sugar Company and erected 
a factory of 350 tons capacity. Three thousand acres were placed 
under beet cultivation, 29,542 tons of beets, having a sugar percentage 
of 15.73 and a purity of 82 per cent, were sliced, and over 6,000,000 
pounds of sugar manufactured.^^ The factory was increased to 700 
tons capacity in 1898, and recently another additional enlargement 
has been made, so that the present slicing capacity is 800 tons per 
twenty-four hours.''" 

The sixth successful sugar factory in California was located 
in Betteravia, in the Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County, 
in 1899. The factory capacity was then 500 tons per twenty-four 
hours, but it has since then been increased to 1,000 tons.*'" It was 
built by The Union Sugar Company, which still owns the factory. 
The report from the factory discloses an unusually prosperous 1917 
campaign. "^^ 

The high grade of beets raised in California soon proved the 
preeminent fitness of this State for sugar beet culture. Conse- 
quently, the beet acreage has constantly been on the increase, and 
new factories established, until at the present time (1918) there 
are in California fifteen large beet sugar mills. The location and 
date of erection of six of these have been touched upon above. 
The other nine are located as follows: Hamilton City (1906), 
Visalia (1906), Corcoran (1908), Santa Ana (1908), Huntington 
Beach (1911), Anaheim (1911), Dyer [Santa Ana] (1912), 
Manteca (1917), Tracy (1917). The total slicing capacity of 
these factories is 18,350 tons per twenty-four hours,**- which can 
easily be increased to 20,000 tons per twenty-four hours if occasion 
demands. The location of each factory, its date of erection, original 
and present owners and present slicing capacity is summarized in 
the following table: 

56. Facts About Sugar, III, 319. (Nov. 18, 1916) ; also Myrick, H., op. at., opposite p. 1. 

57. Myrick, Herbert, op. cit., 50. 

58. Palmer, T. G., op. at., C25. 

59. Shaw, G. W., op. at., 29. 

60. Ibid., 44. 

61. Facts About Sugar, V, 353, (Nov. 3, 1917.) 

62. Palmer, T. G., op. at., CIS. 


Historical Society of Southern California 


Date of 

Com- Slicing 

pletlon Town Capacity 

1870, Alvarado 800 

1891, Chine 1,100 

1897, Los Alamitos 800 

1898, Oxnard 3,000 

1899, Spreckels 4,500 

1899, Betteravia 1,000 

1906, Hamilton City 700 

1906,Visalia 400 

1908, Santa Ana 600 

1908, Corcoran 600 

1911, Huntington Beach. 1,200 

1911, Anaheim 850 

1912, Dyer (Santa Ana). 1,200 

1917, Manteca 1.000 

1917, Tracy 700 

Original and Present Owners83 

Pacific Coast Sugar Mfg. Co. 

Alameda Sugar Co, 

Chino Valley Beet Sugar Co. 

American Beet Sugar Co. 

Los Alamitos Sugar Co. 


Pacific Beet Sugar Co. 

American Beet Sugar Co. 

Spreckel's Sugar Co. 


Union Sugar Co. 


Alta California Beet Sugar Co. 

Sacramento Valley Sugar Co. 

Pacific Sugar Corporation 

San Joaquin Valley Sugar Co. 

Colonial Sugar Co. 

Southern California Sugar Co. 

Holly Sugar Corporation 

Pacific Sugar Corporation 

Pingree Sugar Co. 

Holly Sugar Co. 

Holly Sugar Corporation 

Anaheim Sugar Co. 


Santa Ana Cooperative Sugar Co. 

Santa Ana Sugar Co. 

Spreckel's Sugar Co. 

Pacific Sugar Corporation 

Eight of the factories ofl the State are located south of the 
Tehachapi. Their combined slicing capacity is about 10,000 tons 
per twenty-four hours, and their properties represent an investment 
of over $12,000,000. Over one-half of the 200,100 tons of refined 
sugar produced in California in 1917 were produced in the southern 
part of the State. There were 154,700 acres*** under beet cultivation 
in the State, and of these about 1(X),0(X) were in the South, Orange 
County laying claim to one-half of the acreage. Following Orange 
County in the order of their acreages were Los Angeles, Ventura, 
Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego Counties. 

63. Original owners are given first; present owners last. 

64. Palmer, Truman G.. Concerning Sugar, E3. (Feb. 1918). 

History of the Beet Sugar Industry ix California 79 

Orange County has also the distinction of being the home of five 
of the eight Southern CaHfornia factories. 

Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances the relations 
between the sugar manufacturers and the beet growers were not 
very cordial in the year just passed (1917). The crop, which has 
averaged ten tons to the acre, fell to about eight tons. To a certain 
extent this may be charged to unfavorable weather conditions and 
lack of irrigation water when needed, as in the San Fernando 
Valley. More serious than this, perhaps, were the labor conditions. 
There was uneasiness among the Mexican beet thinners, who, in 
many sections, refused to thin beets at greatly increased wages. As 
the growers' contracts with the factories are signed prior to planting, 
the effects of these unfortunate conditions fell upon the shoulders 
of the farmers, and not the manufacturers. 

When local growers signified their intention not to plant sugar 
beets this year (1918), even at the patriotic appeal of Mr. Herbert 
Hoover, the Federal Government began an investigation to ascertain 
the correctness of the growers' charges that it was impossible to 
raise beets at the prices ofifered by the factories. The Los Angeles and 
Orange County Grand Juries made investigations and reported that 
the factories were reaping undue high profits. No agreement could 
be reached between the two factions relative to the 1918 contract,*^^ 
and so Mr. Hoover appointed a commission***^ to investigate the 
cost of raising beets, and to establish a just price which the 
sugar companies should pay for the beets. This price, however, 
was only to be recommended to the factories ; it was not to be 

After a thorough investigation, the commission reported that 
the cost of raising beets averaged $84 per acre, and added to this 
a profit of $16, making a total of $100 which the sugar companies 
should pay for an acre of average 15 per cent beets, or $8.25 per 
ton. In addition to this base price, the bonuses offered by the fac- 
tories should be paid. 

California can well afiford to foster an^ industry which gives 
employment to thousands of its citizens, and which has drawn 
into its channels millions of dollars of capital. The Federal Gov- 
ernment could ill afiford to minimize the importance as a national 
war asset of the industry in a State which contained 22.9 per cent 
of all the land given over to sugar beet raising in the country, and 
which produced (1917) 23.7 per cent of all the beet sugar in the 
country. With harmony between the growers and manufacturers, 
California is destined for an even greater future as a sugar pro- 
ducing state, and again to regain the lead which was lost to 
Colorado a few years ago. 

65. This contract offers $7.50 per ton for 1?% beets, with an addition or deduction of 50c 
for each 1% above or below 15%. In addition, should sugar go over $7 a cwt. the growers 
will receive a bonus of $1 for each dollar advance over $7. 

66. The commission consisted of Mr. Prescott F. Cogswell of El Monte, Judge Merle 
Rodgers of Ventura, and Mr. John M. Perry of Stockton. 



One of the most interesting studies of practical Socialism in 
Southern California is the history of the communistic colony, Llano 
del Rio, established in the Antelope Valley in 1914. This colony 
was founded by Job Harriman, a prominent Socialist of this State, 
and a company of associates who, like himself, were disappointed 
at the results accomplished by the Socialist party. In their opinion, 
tangible and measurable benefits to the cause would follow a practical 
demonstration of the principles of Socialism through community 
production and distribution, which could not be expected in any 
other way. In order to test the plan, this group of men began 
looking for suitable land upon which they could establish a co- 
operative settlement. After considering various propositions in 
Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona, as well as California, it was decided, 
everything considered, that a tract in the southern part of the 
Antelope Valley offered the largest advantages, so negotiations were 
quietly begun for obtaining control of the land and the water. 

The site was located between Palmdale and Victorville — about 
twenty miles from Palmdale and thirty miles from Victorville, and 
about fifty miles northeast of Los Angeles. Company literature 
states : 'The property lies for the most part between Rock Creek 
and Mescal Creek, on the plain below, and running to the base of the 
mountains that form a magnificent watershed and which are snow- 
capped for several months of the year".^ 

It is part of the Angelus Forest Reserve and is in township 5 
north, ranges 8, 9 and 10 west, San Bernardino meridian. The 
company holdings consisted of ten thousand acres when the colony 
occupied the tract, much of which was in the wild state, covered 
with chaparral, sage, greasewood, yuccas and junipers. The soil 
is largely decomposed granite, felspar and lime of unknown depth. 
It contains sulphides and oxides of iron, potash, soda, carbonate of 
lime and magnesia. The essentials of plant life are found there in 
reasonable abundance. 

The lay of the land is ideal ; comparatively little is rough and 
that part is the foothill section, a portion of which was used for 
reservoir sites, the fish hatcheries, lime< kilns and stone quarries. 
From here the land slopes gently, making irrigation an easy matter. 

The water supply during the development period of the colony 
promised to be sufficient to meet all needs, present &nd future, if 

1. Western Comrade, June, 1914, p. 6. 



History of the Communistic Colony Llano del Rio 81 

properly conserved and distributed. The exclusive right of the 
flow from Mescal Creek, Jackson's Lake, and Boulder Creek had 
been secured and practically all of the flow from Big" Rock Creek, 
through the control of the Big Rock irrigation district. Jackson's 
Lake alone in the driest season yields one hundred and fifty miner's 
inches and could be increased through the use of reservoirs. There 
are four good reservoir sites on the property with a total capacity of 
between thirty thousand and forty thousand acre feet. 

The chief engineer in his report of 1915 says: "The area of 
watersheds adjoining these lands is approximately eighty square 
miles, which, with the usual forty inches of rainfall per annum, 
should yield about seventy thousand acre feet of water that could 
be used if it could all be saved — enough water, with the probable 
character of crops, to maintain forty thousand to fifty thousand 
acres of land under cultivation. Enough is known to assure an 
irrigated area of ten thousand acres or more of any crops, enough 
to support a population of five thousand souls and have a surplus 
of product for the open market". - 

The fall of water supplying the colony seemed sufficient, after 
the installation of power plants, to provide all the electricity for 
both light and power for many years to come. The water of 
Jackson's Lake alone could have been distributed and directed so 
that there would be three separate drops of five hundred feet each. 
At the other end of the tract the proper development of the flow 
of Big Boulder Creek would have provided one of the most valuable 
power sites in the State of California, and the natural formation 
of foothill and valley would have made the development work 
comparatively inexpensive. A dam about two hundred feet in 
length and one hundred feet high, constructed between the hills on 
either side of the creek, would have flooded two hundred acres, 
making an immense amount of water available for irrigation as 
well as power for the generation of electricity. 

The Llano del Rio Company had deeds to over two thousand 
acres of land, held tax titles to three thousand five hundred acres 
more, and through members of the colony had control of: three 
thousand five hundred acres additional, which made a tract of over 
nine thousand acres in all. Even this acreage did not satisf}* the 
ambitions of the colonists. They planned to secure extensive addi- 
tions — even up to thirty thousand acres, the amount of land in this 
irrigation district. 

The cultivated land during the season of 1917 consisted of about 
two thousand acres, distributed as follows: alfalfa, four hundred 
acres ; orchard, one hundred twenty acres : nursery, one hundred ; 
garden, one hundred twenty ; corn, two hundred ; and the balance 
in grain and general farm crops. 

2. The Gateway to Freedom, 13. Published by Llano del Rio Company. 

82 Historical Society of Southern California 

Those in authority at the colony maintained that it was possible 
for the members to devote their energy to the raising of a large 
variety as well as large quantities of products. The Vice-President 
informed me that peas, beans, potatoes, melons and all vegetables 
grew there abundantly ; that of the fruits they would soon be 
producing pears, apples, peaches, plums, cherries, apricots, olives, 
and figs. These with the products of the dairy, the chicken yards, 
the rabbitry, the hog ranch and apiary would, according to the 
plan, not only feed the people of the colony but would enable them 
to buy in the quantities needed the things they could not produce. 

After four weeks of existence, the ninth of May, 1914, closed 
with five members. They had but a few tools with which to begin 
work, four horses, one cow and sixteen hogs. 

Considering so small a beginning, the growth for the first three 
years was rather notable. There were, August 1, 1917, about one 
thousand members with nine hundred residents in the colony. There 
were one hundred head of horses, one hundred and twenty-five 
Jersey and Holstein cows and one hundred head of young stock, 
three hundred hogs, several thousand rabbits and chickens, six 
hundred eighty stands of bees, one hundred fifty turkeys, thirty-two 
goats, three trucks, twenty wagons, seven automobiles, a traction 
engine, a caterpillar engine, leveller, concrete mixer and pipe moulds 
for the making of cement pipes for the irrigation system, drags, 
and various other pieces of heavy machinery for clearing and 
preparing the land for planting on a large scale. 

The buildings were largely of a temporary character, due partly 
to the fact that the site of the residence section was to be changed to 
ground a little higher, more protected from the wind and nearer the 
source of water most desirable for domestic purposes. There were 
tents and adobe houses enough, with the rooms in the club house, 
to take care of the nine hundred people in Llano at that time, and 
more were being put up as needed. They had a planing and sash 
and door mill of sufficient capacity to do all the sawing and milling 
work for the building operations. 

The hen coops and rabbitry were modern in construction and 
very commodious, and it was intended to increase the capacity 
rapidly. The cattle barn was constructed of cobblestone, with tin 
roof, a great improvement over the cheaply constructed barn which 
I saw on my first visit to the colony in 1915. A fine concrete silo 
of three hundred ton capacity had recently been constructed, and 
the plans were well under way for a well-equipped dairy. 

The office was small, but it answered the purpose very well. The 
Llano postoffice was housed in this building. 

The most used and the most popular structure of the colony was 
the Club House. It consisted of a building fifty by one hundred 
and fifty feet, containing rooms for single men, the commissary 
department, the club kitchen and dining room, the barber shop, the 

History of the Communistic Colony Llano del Rio 83 

printing plant and the library. Most of the single men of the 
colony boarded in the club dining room. They were charged 
seventy-five 'cents a day for their meals. This room, fifty by sixty 
feet, was used as the general audience room of the colony. It was 
here the assembly had its official meeting and where lectures, musical 
entertainments and parties were held. 

The machinery for a steam laundry had been installed, which 
greatly lightened the housework. A lime kiln of one hundred fifty 
barrels capacity daily was in operation. An ice plant, a tannery 
and a shoe factory were to have been established if the plans for the 
colony had matured. 

A printing plant had been established which, though of Umited 
capacity, turned out a large amount of work. It was here the 
"Western Comrade", a monthly magazine of thirty-two pages, the 
"Llano Colonist", a weekly, and the pamphlets of the colony were 
published. This office had become the chief California center for the 
publication and dissemination of socialistic literature. 

A well-equipped canning plant which was a valuable asset to 
the company activities had been installed. Both vegetables and 
fruits were preserved for the season when they could not be procured 
fresh. Quantities of fruit were made available by exchanging labor 
for it. Cleaning, dyeing, and soap-making added their contributions 
to the Llano industries. The list would not be complete without a 
mention of the rug-making department. Most excellent work was 
done — much better than one would think possible in the meager 
quarters provided. Rugs of beautiful design and good value were 

The homes of the people, as would be expected in an enterprise 
of this kind, were crude — tents and adobe of sun-dried brick, of one 
or two rooms. They were meagerly furnished for the most part, 
but sanitary ; and no one seemed to be the worse for the pioneer 
experience. The home planned for the future, however, — the one 
which according to the contract of the company it was under obli- 
gation to build for all members of this cooperative plan. — was to be 
much more comfortably appointed, and is thus described in the com- 
pany literature: "The house will be built around a patio or court, 
turning a blank wall towards the neighbor, against which he in turn 
constructs his house. Then you look across your own garden at your 
own windows and neither hear nor see your neighbor, who retires 
behind a soundproof wall. 

When in your garden you can lounge or work at your ease, 
and if you turn your little children out of doors they will never be 
out of sight, no matter what room in the house you may be in. 
There is a living room twenty by twenty-eight feet, a sun-parlor 
dining room thirty-five by fourteen feet, two bedrooms ten and one- 
half by twelve and one-half feet, with a bathroom between them. 
Upstairs there is a flat roof, separated from your neighbor's by an 

84 Historical Society of Southern California 

eight-foot wall with eaves, with two dressing rooms and space for 
eight beds arranged two by two in separate recesses. These beds 
only occupy part of the roof at any time, but they can be folded back 
against the wall, leaving the roof free. So, if desired, twelve 
people can be accommodated downstairs and up, without any 

The proposed construction of these homes indicated a complete 
system of water works and a sewerage system. 

All the products of the colony passed through the commissary 
department. Here they were weighed, sorted and placed on the 
market to members of the colony at a price as near cost "as prac- 
ticable". It was also agreed by contract that all clothing was to be 
purchased from the company. Both food and clothing were very 
plain. All surplus funds were needed in the development work, 
hence little was left for anything but the bare necessities. 

The work of opening up a desert ranch, — planting, sowing, 
irrigating, harvesting, building and planning, — is strenuous, but 
there seemed to be a willingness on the part of practrcally every one 
to bear his share of the burdens. Eight hours were the regular 
day's work. There were those, however, who worked longer and 
who were willing to do it, for as several expressed it to me, "We are 
working for ourselves now. No capitalist who has no interest in 
us further than that we can increase his wealth, gets the benefit 
of our extra work. It belongs to us". There were some, however, 
who seemed to have no particular desire to put in extra time for the 
benefit of the community interests. 

I was very much interested in the social life and amusements 
of Llano. In view of the social needs of the community the club 
house was constructed, which became the natural center of the 
people. In the large assembly hall, those musically inclined often 
gathered around the piano to sing, while the rest listened or visited. 
Here each Saturday night the young people — and many of the older 
folks, too — gathered for a dance. This was occasionally repeated 
during the week. One evening when I was present the entertainment 
consisted of a "sufifragette ball". The girls wore the clothes of their 
fathers or brothers and the boys borrowed from their sisters or 
other female members of their families. The whole colony seemed 
to be present. Those who did not dance appeared happy in the 
enjoyment of those who did. A jolly good fellowship was every- 
where present. The Tuesday night children's dance was one of 
the enjoyable social customs of the colony. The young people 
from the ages of six to fifteen had the floor exclusively to them- 
selves. They were taught, not only the dance steps but the courtesies 
which belong to the dance floor, in order that they might acquire 
grace and poise, learn the forms and social customs which charac- 

3. The Gateway to Freedom, Feb., 1917, p. 14. 


History of the Communistic Colony Llano del Rio 85 

terize the relationship of ladies and gentlemen, as well as have the 
pleasure and exhilaration which comes from this activity. 

Each Sunday evening there was an entertainment of a literary 
and musical nature. The program consisted of talks or lectures 
by members or visitors, readings, recitations, home talent plays, 
concerts or musical numbers by the orchestra, band, the mandolin 
or guitar organizations, or by individuals or groups who could 
furnish vocal music. These programs were interesting and in- 
structive and were of greater merit than one not acquainted with 
the colony conditions would expect to find. 

The young men had football, baseball, basket ball, and tennis 
teams. They had pool and billiard tables and also enjoyed checkers, 
dominos and chess. 

The plans for the new city included tennis courts, running 
tracks, football grounds, baseball diamonds, golf links and well- 
equipped playgrounds for children. 

There was a woman's reading circle and an Esperanto club. 
Notices of the meetings were posted prominently on the bulletin 
boards of the club house. 

Recreation and amusements were given a prominent place in 
the life of the colonists at Llano. It was their policy to lighten 
the cares of life by mental and physical activities which afiford 
opportunity for relaxation of mind and body and give zest to the 
daily duties. 

"What would be done with a man who became incapacitated 
through old age, accident or sickness and was unable to earn any- 
thing" ? was a question often asked by colonists, until it was answered 
at a meeting of the xA.ssembly, July 20, 1915. It was decided by a 
unanimous vote that all such persons should be cared for by the 
colony the rest of their lives. While this action might have been 
rescinded later on, it at least indicated at that time a good degree 
of "social solidarity". The policy pursued by the colony in several 
cases where members were unable to carry their part of the com- 
munity load proved that the resolution passed at the meeting referred 
to was not a matter of theory only, but was a part of their practice. 
They did in this matter just what they promised they would do. 

No provision was made in the colony for the building of 
churches. The company had no intention of constructing any 
church edifices. There were many denominations represented at 
Llano, and' members held religious meetings in their homes, if they 
so desired. Later it was expected that halls and auditoriums would 
be built which could be used for church as well as other purposes. 
One of the leaders of the colony remarked that they cared little for 
religion, as such, but were very much interested in every-day 
Christianity, the proper and just relationship of man to man. 

Substantial plans had been made for a good school system in 
Llano. At the end of the school vear, June 30. 1017, there were 

86 Historical Society of Southern California 

one hundred twenty-five pupils enrolled. The courses ranged from 
kindergarten to the second year in the high school, and the work 
was under the supervision of the County Superintendent. The 
County course of study formed the basis of the work, and State 
and County support was received. 

Besides this department of education there was maintained what 
was known as the "Industrial School", where no County or State 
requirements were adhered to and for which no County or State 
support was expected. This school was established at the Junior 
Colony, where many of the young people lived, worked, studied 
and grew. The boys did a large amount of the construction work 
in providing buildings for this center, and the girls cooked and 
made many of the clothes for the boys as well as for themselves. 
Here the young people performed the regular duties of industrial, 
homekeeping and agricultural life and learned many practical things 
in the performance of these duties. Book knowledge was given 
as the need for it appeared. In this way a motive for learning was 
given the student. 

"The plan is to take up a variety of subjects and teach the 
practice of them before the theory is attempted. Thus in the one 
hundred' acres of garden attached to the Industrial School and 
operated by the boys and girls, they will be taught soil chemistry, 
botany, horticulture, agriculture, and biology. These sciences will 
come so naturally to them that they will not be aware that they 
are being taught. Later when the theory is taken up, it will be 
thoroughly understood, because the facts have already been incul- 
cated. Time usually wasted by children will be used, in absorbing 
knowledge, yet the children will enjoy it all".* 

"Self-government is also practiced. The boys have their managers 
of departments, make their own laws, try their own culprits, and 
acquire a sense of responsibility. They like it, for it is real life. 
Boys who have seemed to be incorrigible have been transformed 
into lovable, tractable, good-natured workers. They have received 
the attention they needed, and have been given an interest in life 
and healthful means of expanding their superabundant energy".^ 
An attempt was being made in this department to eliminate all but 
the essentials of education and, for Llano del Rio, gave promise 
of success. 

Bonds had been voted for a five thousand dollar school house, 
which was to take care of the children and of those in some territory 
not included in the colony. It was organized as any other school 
district and was under the same general supervision. 

The Llano del Rio Company was incorporated under the laws 
of Nevada. As a corporation its business was transacted the same 
as that of any other corporation, and it had the advantage of a 

4. "The Gateway to Freedom," Feb., 1917, p. 22. 

5. Ibid., 22. 

History of the Communistic Colony Llano del Rio 87 

body of rules and regulations of the State as a guide. The capital 
stock consisted of two million shares, the par value of which was 
one dollar. 

The management of affairs in a general way was in the hands 
of the nine directors, who were elected by the stockholders of the 
company. They were the legal representatives of the company and 
as such were responsible to the State through the corporation laws. 
This board of directors appointed a superintendent of the colony 
activities, who was directly responsible to that body. 

The superintendent, with the sanction of the board of directors, 
appointed the assistant superintendent and the heads or managers 
of the various departments, who appointed the department foremen. 
Assistant foremen were appointed as needed in the different depart- 
ments. The assistant superintendent and the foremen could be 
removed at the option of the superintendent and board of directors, 
the latter body having, of course, power to remove the superintend- 
ent. The board of directors could be recalled by a vote of sixty 
per cent of the stockholders. Thus we see the final authority came 
back to the stockholders, each having one vote regardless of the 
amount of stock held. 

There were four distinct departments, with a fifth made up of 
several lines of activity, grouped together for convenience: (1) 
Farm, (2) Livestock, (3) Industries, (4) Construction, (5) Admin- 
istration, Architects, Medical, Membership. 

The rules and regulations of the managers, before becoming 
operative, had to be submitted to the board of directors. Managers 
and superintendent had regular office hours, so they could be easily 
reached by those who desired to talk over matters with them. In 
case of trouble or dispute, if adjustment could not be made by the 
managers or superintendent, the case was presented to the board 
of directors for final settlement. 

The nature of the ''contract" and the "Agreement of Employ- 
ment" is interesting. Leading features included the following: 

Each share holder agreed to buy two thousand shares of stock 
at the par value of one dollar. 

Each agreed to pay one thousand dollars in money (cash at 
time of signing contract, if possible). 

Each agreed to pay in labor, one thousand dollars. 

Each received a daily wage of four dollars. 

The one thousand dollars in labor could be paid by deducting 
one dollar a day from the four dollars daily wage. 

Out of the balance of the three dollars wages the colonist bought 
his food and clothing from the company store and commissary. 

The balance remained to the credit of the individual and could 
be drawn out in cash from the surplus profits of the colony (if such 
surplus ever accumulated). 

88 Historical Society of Southern California 

A sum of not more than seventy-five dollars could be drawn 
each year in cash, which could be spent outside of the colony. 

Continuous employment was guaranteed by the company, with 
provision for annual vacation of two weeks. 

No stockholder could own more shares than other members. 

It was very evident from the conditions of these contracts that all 
were to be treated alike, regardless of earning ability. The individual 
was lost sight of in the welfare of the community. All a man could 
expect — in fact, all he should want, according to the philosophy 
of the colonists — was the opportunity to earn what he and his 
family needed to eat and wear, and a place to live in peace and 
happiness. If he had private property, however, aside from what 
he had to put into his payments to the colony he was free to take 
care of it in his own way, but it could not be used in a productive 
capacity in the colony. He could have pictures, pianos, automobiles, 
or anything else in the colony which did not interfere with the 
productive or distributive processes of the colony. 

The question was often asked if a single man was not at a disad- 
vantage under this contract. In the first place, such a matter was 
not supposed to be worthy of consideration with these people. 
Then, too, if the credits were ever realized on in cash, the members 
who had made the smallest demands in food and clothing would 
get the most money. 

It is most natural that many difficulties should present themselves 
in an undertaking of this kind. Some of the troubles of the Llano 
colony were very similar to those met with by earlier 'communistic 
settlements. However, it is probable that some of these difficulties 
were, as with other colonies, blessings in disguise ; they indirectly 
contributed, at least, temporary strength to the enterprise. 

One of the handicaps to the rapid development of the Llano 
property and to placing it on a more productive basis was the lack 
of capital. Land had to be bought, water rights secured and 
developed, houses built, stock and machinery obtained, offices con- 
structed and an advertising and selling campaign conducted, with 
very little capital outside of the money derived from memberships. 
This necessitated a large use of credit and a very frugal use of 
the resources for even the necessities of life. The common necessity, 
however, made for community thought and action. 

Llano del Rio, like many of the earlier colonies of the country, 
experienced periods of social unrest and dissatisfaction. 

This condition was inevitable unless many applicants were 
excluded and only people of common ideals, harmonious and select, 
were permitted to become members. While a more careful and 
conscientious sifting process might have worked for the ultimate 
good of the colony, it would have been a hard policy to pursue 
during the early days when funds and labor were both so much 
needed in the development work. 

History of the Communistic Colony Llano del Rio 89 

The Llano del Rio Company was originally organized under the 
laws of California and, although later operated under a Nevada 
charter, it was subject to the laws and regulations governing such 
corporations in this State and also subject to inspection and super- 
vision by the Commissioner of Corporations. During 1915, com- 
plaint against the management of the colony was made to the 
Commissioner, which resulted in his appointing Deputy Commis- 
sioner H. W. Bowman of Los Angeles to investigate the company 
affairs generally. Mr. Bowman's report was submitted to the 
Commissioner December 31, 1915, and contained material of value 
in this discussion. This report resulted in the Commissioner of 
Corporations issuing specific instructions to the company governing 
the sale of stock, at the time the permit authorizing such sale was 

Shortly after this thirty-two dissatisfied colonists withdrew from 
the colony, and in a signed statement presented to the Commissioner 
of Corporations declared that the colony, organized as a cooperative 
enterprise, having for its purpose mutual helpfulness, had become 
a one-man autocracy, an organization dominated absolutely by Mr. 
Harriman, who ruled arbitrarily and often without a semblance of 
justice. Although the statement was not specifically made that 
Mr. Harriman's management was in his own interests individually, 
it is an implication that such was the case. 

This was followed in a few weeks by a reply to the report of 
Mr. Bowman and the charges of the colonists who had withdrawn, 
written by Mr. Harriman. 

Mr. Bowman's report to the Commissioner of Corporations was 
comprehensive and well arranged. It was submitted in the analytic 
style in which attorneys' briefs are usually submitted. It was 
written apparently in the spirit of a public official who had dis- 
covered a situation which needed, in his opinion, the firm and 
careful exercise of the law in order to remedy a condition which 
was producing injustice to a number of citizens of the State. 

Mr. Harriman's answer, on the other hand, was written to 
justify the conduct of aflfairs by the company officers. It explained 
from the official viewpoint the reasons why actions cited in Mr. 
Bowman's report as unwise and unjust, were taken. His position 
was that many of the official acts of himself or the directors of the 
company, were not only justifiable, but wise, and in the interests 
of the company as a whole, and. if understood, would be viewed 
by others in that way. 

It is neither necessary nor wise to go into a detailed discussion 
of this controversy in this paper. It was difficult for each side to 
appreciate the position of the other, and some injustice probably 
resulted. However, the final result was no doubt beneficial to the 
colony and brought about a 'closer supervision of the company 
affairs by the Commissioner of Corporations. 

90 Historical Society of Southern California 

The personnel of the colonists is interesting. About twenty-five 
per cent of the members were Californians and, as might be ex- 
pected, a majority came from west of the Rocky Mountains— at 
least sixty to seventy per cent. Recruits came from the South, the 
Middle West and the East, but they were comparatively few in 

The several occupations of the colonists prior to their coming 
to Llano are an interesting study. On June 26. 1917, a survey 
showed that six had been engaged in transportation, fifteen in 
professional lines, five in the printing trades, ten clerks, eight 
miners, eighteen workers in manufacturing plants, seventy-three 
in business lines, thirteen in building trades, and one hundred four 

There were few foreigners in Llano. Nearly all were so far 
removed from foreign parentage that they would be classed as 
Americans. Their habits, thought and ideals were formed by Ameri- 
can influences. 

The character of the members of the colony was above what I 
expected to find before my visit there. The leaders were wide- 
awake men of afifairs, several of whom had had very successful 
private business experience. 

As one conversed with the people one was impressed with the 
fact that, for the most part, they were men and women of intelligence 
and common sense. They were not there because they were "down 
and out" and unequal to the struggle of life. If that had been 
the case they would have been unable to raise the necessary funds 
to become members of the colony. They were largely substantial 
persons who had banded themselves together to attempt to work 
out a community life that was without a capitalist and where the 
fruits of toil went where, in their estimation, they belonged, to the 

In the fall of 1917 it was decided by the directors of the company 
that a change of location of the home or mother colony would be 
beneficial. It was urged. that progress would be more rapid, and 
prosperity and ultimate success more sure, if the colony were located 
in a section of the country with larger agricultural possibilities. The 
proposal was agreed to by the colonists, and in November, 1917, 
the company interests, material and spiritual, were largely transferred 
to Stables, La. Here a tract of sixty thousand acres, well provided 
with buildings, had been purchased, which was to become the new 
home, the new center of this communistic enterprise. 

Reports fromi Stables indicate progress, and those who have 
watched developments in California will observe with interest the 
colony career in Louisiana. 






BY LAURA c. cooLEY — Reference Department 

Alegre, Francisco Javier. Historia de la Compania de Jesus en 
NuevaEspana. . . Mexico, 1841-42. 3v. SR 282.75:1 

This work was written at the time of the expulsion of the 
Jesuits from New Spain. The material relating to Baja 
California is of great value. Carlos Maria de Bustamante, 
editing it in 1841, says. . . "I have here, the work of the 
wise Alegre. . . read it, and see justified his cause in all 
its lines." 
Baegert, Jacob. Nachrichten von der americanischen halbinsel Cali- 
fornien : mit einem zweyfachen anhangfalscher nachrichten. . . 
Mannheim, 1773. S R 917.22:4 

The author of this work was one of the Jesuits banished from 
Lower California by the decree of Charles III. His impres- 
sion of the peninsula was most unfavorable, and his work 
portrays a bitter and grieved heart. An arranged translation 
was published in the Smithsonian Institute. Annual Report, 
1863, p. 352; 1864, p. 378. 
Boscana, Geronimo. Chinigchinich ; a historical account of the 
origin, customs, and traditions of the Indians at the missionary 
establishment of St. Juan Capistrano, Alta California. . . New 
York, 1846. [Bound with: Robinson, Alfred. Life in California 
during a residence of several years in that territory. . . New 
York, 1846] R 979.4:19 

Father Boscana came to California in 1806. He was at the 
mission San Juan Capistrano from 1814-1826. 
Chappe d'Auteroche, Jean. Voyage en Californie pour I'observation 
du passage de Venus sur le disque du soleil, le 3 Juin 1769. . . 
Redige & public par M. de Cassini fils. . . . Paris, 1772. 

R 917.94:28-1 
This voyage was undertaken by the French Government, pre- 
sumably to observe the transit of Venus across the sun's 
disc, visible from the coast of California. The Abbe Chappe 
d'Auteroche died while in Lower California. An extract from 
a letter, addressed to' the Royal Academy of Sciences, at 
Paris, by the eminent Mexican scientist, Don Jose Antonio 
Alzate, regarding the natural history of Mexico, is included 


92 Historical Society of Southern California 

in the volume. The library has also an English translation 
of 1778. 

Choris, Ludovick. San Francisco one hundred years ago. Trans- 
lated' from the French of Louis Choris by Porter Garnett. . . 
San Francisco, 1913. R 917.942 :S 2241-16 

A chapter fromi a French work entitled Voyage pittoresque 
autour du monde. . . The author was the artist of the 
Romanzoff expedition which visited San Francisco in 1816. 

Clavigero, Francisco Xavier. Historia de la Antigua 6 Baja Cali- 
fornia. . . Mejico, 1852. S R 972.02:11-1 
Clavigero's notes are usually conceded to be the result of careful 
observation. Palou's Life of Father Serra is bound with this 
Coleccion de documentos ineditos, relativos al descubrimiento, con- 
quista y organizacion de las antiguas posesiones espafiolas de 
America y Oceania. . . Madrid. 1864-84. 42 v. SR 973.16:3 
A collection of letters and documents taken from the Real 
Archivo de Indias. In addition to the vast amount of Spanish 
American material reflecting upon California, the work con- 
tains letters and accounts of Cortes and others who assisted 
in the exploration of the territory. 
Cortes, Hernando. Historia de Mejico, escrita por. . . Hernan 
Cortes : aumentada con otros documentos y notas, por D. Fran- 
cisco Antonio Lorenzana. . . Neuva [ !] York, 1828. 

S R 972.02:28 

The Archbishop Lorenzana gives a condensed account of the 

voyage of Cortes to Lower California. ..."... 

for the better understanding of the fourth letter of Cortes. 

. . . " The library has also the edition of 1770, and the 

Letters of Cortes, translated and edited by Francis Augustus 

MacNutt, 1908. 

Costanso, Miguel. Diario historico de los viages de mar, y tierra 

hechos al norte de la California. . . Executados por la tropa 

destinada a dicho objeto al mando de Don Caspar de Portola. 

. . . Y por los paquebots el S. Carlos y el S. Antonio al mando 

de Don Vicente Vila. . . Mexico, 1770. SR 917.94:124 

A translation of this account of the Portola expedition, 1769- 

1770, is published in Out West, June-July, 1901, and in the 

Academy of Pacific Coast History, 1910, v. 1, no. 4. Cos- 

anso was the cosmographer of this expedition. 

. . . The narrative of the Portola 

expedition of 1769-1770, by Miguel Costanso, ed. by Adolph van 
Hemert-Egert ... and Frederick J. Teggert . . . 
Berkeley, 1910. (Publications of the Academy of Pacific coast 
history, V. 1, no. 4.) in R 979:13 v. 1 

Spanish and English text. 

California from Discovery to End of the Spanish Period 93 

. . . Miguel Costanso to the Viceroy, 

Mexico, Oct. 9, 1772. (In [Cartas] Los Angeles, 1903.) 

in S R 979:1 
A typed copy from a manuscript of the "Ramirez Collection", now 
in possession of Edward E. Ayer, of Chicago. In this letter 
to the Viceroy of New Spain, Costanso graphically relates 
the result of the Portola expedition, "... from the top 
of a hill, we descried a very great Bay." It is bound with 
a translation published in Out West, January, 1902. 

. . . The Portola expedition of 1769- 

1770, diary of Miguel Costanso, ed. by Frederick J. Teggart 

. . . Berkeley, 1911. (Publications of the Academy of 

Pacific coast history, v. 2, no. 4.) in R 979:13 v. 2 

Spanish and English text. This is the "Diario de viage de tierra 

hecho al norte de la California . . . "of Costanso. It 

is a distinct work from his "Diario Historico . . " 

Crespi, Juan. . . . Diario. (In Palou, Francisco. Noticias 

de la Nueva California. 1874. v. 1, v. 2.) S R 979.4:5 

An English translation, by Francisco de Thoma, of a part of this 

faithfully kept record, was published in the Los Angeles 

Times, Magazine Section, Sept. 7-Oct. 30, 1898. 

. . . Fray Juan Crespi ( from San 

Diego) to Fr, Francisco Palou, May 21, 1772. (In [Cartas] Los 
Angeles, 1903.) in SR 979:1 

A typed copy from a manuscript of the "Ramirez Collection", 
now in possession of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago. This letter 
is included in a communication of Francisco Palou's to the 
Viceroy's Secretary. In it Father Crespi gives a brief account 
of his search with Captain Pages for the "Port of San Fran- 
cisco" ; his intention to "form a diary" of the expedition ; 
his order to hasten to San Diego and the distressing lack of 
supplies at this mission. It is bound with a translation pub- 
lished in Out West, January, 1902. 

See also : Historical Society of Southern 

California. R 979.41 :1, v. 2 

Dampier, William. A new voyage round the world . . . Lon- 
don, 1703. 3 V. R 910.4:1 a 
Dampier, in recording his voyage of 1686, has this reference to 
California: "This Lake of California (for so the Sea, Chan- 
nel or Streight, between that and the Continent, is called) is 
but little known to the Spaniards, by what I could ever learn ; 
for their Drafts do not agree about it. Some of them do 
make California an Island ... I do believe that the 
Spaniards do not care to have this Lake discovered, for fear 
lest other European Nations should get knowledge of it, and 
by that means visit the Mines of New ^lexico." 

94 Historical Society of Southern California 

Davidson, George. An examination of some of the early voyages 
of discovery and exploration on the northwest coast of America, 
from 1539 to 1603 . . . (In U. S. Coast and geodetic survey. 
Ann. Kept. 1886. App. 7, p. 155-253.) 

A comparative study of early voyages, quoting citations from 
original sources. 

Diaz del Castillo, Bernal. Historia verdadera de la conquista de la 
Nueva-Espana . . . Madrid. 1632. S R 972.02 :3 

The old soldier and follower of Cortes. Bernal Diaz, tells his 
story of the conquest with sincerity and frankness. His 
account of the discovery of Lower California has been used 
as the text of subsequent histories. The library has also the 
English translation by John Lockhart. 

Drake, Sir Francis. The world encompassed . . . being his 
next voyage to that to Nombre de Dios collated with an unpublished 
manuscript. Francis Fletcher, chaplain to the expedition . . 
London. 1854. (Publications of the Hakluyt Society, v . 16.) 

P 910:40 V. 16 

From the South American coast, Drake sought the goal of the 

mariners, the Northwest Passage. Failing in this, he ran 

along the coast of California and anchored in the bay now 

bearing his name. 

Duran, Narciso. . . . Expedition on the Sacramento and San 
Joaquin rivers in 1817; diary of Fray Narciso Duran, ed. by 
Charles Edward Chapman . . . Berkeley, 1911. (Publica- 
tions of the Academy of Pacific coast history, v. 2, no. 5.) 

inR979:13 v. 2 
Spanish and English text. "Diary of the exploring expedition 
made in the month of May, 1817, by the commandant of the 
royal presidio of our father San Francisco, Lieutenant Don 
Luis Argiiello, with his launch "San Rafael" or "La Fina", 
and by the fathers, Fray Ramon Abella . . . and Fray 
Narciso Duran ..." 

Fages, Pedro. . . . The Colorado River campaign, 1781-1782 ; 

diary of Pedro Fages, ed. by Herbert Ingram Priestley . . . 

Berkeley, 1913. (Publications of the Academy of Pacific coast 

history, v. 3, no. 2.) in R 979:13 v. 3 

Spanish and English text. A graphic account of the expedition 

sent to suppress the uprising of the Yuma Indians, 1781. 

"Previous to this publication the diary has been known to 

historians by name only ..." 

'■ . . , Expedition to San Francisco 

Bay in 1770, diary of Pedro Fages; ed. by Herbert Eugene Bolton 

. . . Berkeley, 1911. (Publications of the Academy of Pacific 

coast history, v. 2, no. 3.) in R 979 :13 v. 2 

Spanish and English text. "Expedition which the lieutenant 

California from Discovery to End of the Spanish Period 95 

of volunteers of Cataluiia, Don Pedro Pages, made with six 
soldiers and one muleteer." This diary was discovered in 
Mexico, by Dr. Herbert E. Bolton, University of California. 
A translation by Miss Emma Helen Blair is published in 
Richman's "California under Spain and Mexico." 

[Ferrelo, Bartolome.] Relation, or diary, of the voyage which Juan 

Rodriguez Cabrillo made with two ships, for the discovery of the 

South Sea ... (In U. S. Geographical surveys west of 

100th meridian. Report. 1879. App. to Pt. 1., v. 7, p. 293-314.) 

A translation of the record of the discovery of Alta California, 

1542, and the exploration of the coast as far north as 42°. 

This diary is supposed to have been kept by Ferrelo, Cabrillo's 

pilot. It is a simple narration of a slow, courageous voyage 

along unknown shores. A Spanish text, "Relacion del des- 

cubrimiento que hizo Juan Rodriguez, navegando por la 

contracosta del Mar del Sur al norte, hecha por Juan Paez. — 

Julio de 1542", is published in| "Coleccion de documentos 

ineditos", v. 14. 

Font, Pedro. . . . The Anza expedition of 1775-1776: diary of 
Pedro Font, ed. by Frederick J. Teggart . . . Berkeley, 1913. 
(Publications of the Academy of Pacific coast history, v. 3, no. 1.) 

in R 979:13 v. 3 
Text in Spanish and English. 

. Diario a Monterey por el Rio Colorado 

del Padre Fr. Pedro Font. [Los Angeles, 1910.] S R 972:2 

A typed copy of the original, dated Tubutama. 1777, iit the 
John Carter Brown Library, Providence. R. I. The copy 
was revised and certified by Charles F. Lummis. Fray Pedro 
Font was the chaplain of the Anza expedition of 1775-1776, 
which accomplished a permanent step toward the colonization 
of Alta California. 

Garces, Francisco. On the trail of a Spanish pioneer, the diary 
and itinerary of Francisco Garces in his travels through Sonora, 
Arizona, and California, 1775-1776; translated . . . and 
edited with copious critical notes by Elliott Coues . . . New 
York, 1900. 2v. R 917.9:13 

This is one of the best known of all the accounts of the mis- 
sionary fathers. It is a wonderful record of Indian life and 
reflects the indefatigable zeal of the brave Franciscan. 

Garcia Icazbalceta, Joaquin, ed. Real provision sobre descubri- 
mientos en el Mar del Sur y repuesta de Cortes a la notificacion 
que se le hizo de ella. (In Coleccion de documentos para la his- 
toria de Mexico. Mexico, 1866, v. 2. p. 31-61.) in SR 080:2 v. 2 
This document is an account of the many unfortunate and dis- 
astrous occurences suffered by Cortes in his effort to make 
new discoveries in the South Sea. 

96 Historical Society of Southern California 

Grordon, William. Historia de las Missiones Jesuitas en la California 
baja desde su establecimiento hasta 1737. [Los Angeles, 1909.] 
A typed copy of the original manuscript in the Edward E. Ayer 
Collection, Chicago, certified by Charles F. Lummis. "This 
is the original autograph diary kept by William Gordon, one 
of the Jesuit missionaries employed in the conversion of the 
Indians . . . The diary at La Paz breaks off with the 
retreat of Gordon, after the martyrdom of Tamaral and 
Carranco . . , The character of the Indians, the pri- 
vations of the missionaries, the hardships of their daily life, 
their conflicts w^ith the civil and military authorities, are all 
brought before the reader in the most vivid and at the same 
time most unpretentious manner." (From Quaritch's note.) 

Herrera y Tordesillas, Antonio de. Historia general de los hechos 
de los Castellanos en las islas i tierra firma del mar oceano . . . 
Madrid, 1726-27. 4 v. S R 973.16:30 

As royal historiographer of the Indias from 1492-1554, Herrera 
left an account which will always remain a much read source, 
however his accounts of early voyages are unsatisfactory 
and condensed. The library has also the English translation 
of John Stevens. It is a free translation with many omis- 

Historical society of Southern California. Documents from the 
Sutroj collection, tr., annotated and ed. by Geo. Butler Grififin 
. . . Los Angeles, 1891. (Publications of the Historical 
society of Southern California, v. 2, pt. 1.) R 979.41 :1 v. 2 

Spanish and English text. These documents consist of letters 
and paragraphs from letters referring to Spain's exploration 
of the Pacific in the sixteenth, early seventeenth and eight- 
eenth centuries. Among them, the most noteworthy are those 
of Sebastian Vizcaino, giving an account of his exploration 
of the coast of the Californias, and the discovery of the Bay 
of Monterey ; a letter of Father Junipero Serra, describing 
the condition of the missions, 1774; the diary of Fray Tomas 
de la Peiia, and the journal of Fray Juan Crespi, kept during 
the exploring voyage of the Santiago to the northward of 
Monterey in the year 1774. The documents were found for 
the late Mr. Adolph Sutro of San Francisco in the Archivo 
General de Indias, Seville. 
Kerr, Robert. General history and collection of voyages and travels 
. . . forming a complete history of the origin and progress 
of navigation, discovery, and commerce by sea and land, from the 
earliest ages to the present time. Edinburgh, 1824. 18 v. 

in R 910.8 :2v. 10, 11 
This is one of the largest collections of early voyages extant, 
and a valuable secondary source. It contains historical ac- 
counts gathered from comparative sources and extracts from 

California from Discovery to End of the Spanish Period 97 

many narratives. Volumes x-xi include those of Sir Francis 
Drake, Thomas Cavendish, Capt. George Shelvocke, Capt. 
Woodes Rogers. 
Laperouse, Jean Frangois de Galaup, comte de. Voyage de La 
Perouse autour du monde . . . Paris, 1798. 5 v. 

in R 910.4:22 
The voyage of La Perouse was undertaken at the command of 
the French government. He anchored in Monterey Bay, 
September 14, 1786. The record of his observations is of 
rare value. From Monterey, La Perouse sailed for the East 
Indies, and from these islands to the South Pacific, where his 
ships were wrecked, and he and his crew lost. 
[Ortega, Jose. Apostolicos afanes de la Compania de Jesus . . 
Barcelona, 1754. S R 266:1 

Father Ortega laboured for thirty years among the Indians 
of Nayarit. This work is a history of Nayarit, Sonora, 
Sinaloa and California, also an important record of the mis- 
sionary and explorer, Eusebio Francisco Kino. The work is 
partially based on Kino's manuscripts. 
Palou, Francisco. Noticias de la Nueva California . . . San 
Francisco, 1874. 4 v. ^ R 979.4:5 

A history of the California expeditions and missions from 
1768-1/83. Father Crespi's diary, which is incorporated' in 
the work, forms an important part. 

. Palou (from Loreto, Lower California) 

to Dn. Melchor de Perramas, June 15, 1772. (In [Cartas] Los 
Angeles, 1903.) in SR 979:1 

A typed copy from a manuscript of the "Ramirez Collection" 
now in possession of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago. This letter 
of Palou's, addressed to the Viceroy's Secretary, includes 
Crespi's letter from San Diego to Palou, May 21, 1772. It is 
bound with a translation published in Out West, January, 

Relacion historica, de la vida y apostolicas 

tareas del venerable padre Fray Junipero Serra . . . Mexico, 

1787. S R 922 S 48 

Francisco Palou was the life long friend and' companion of 

Father Serra. The library has also an English translation 

edited by George Wharton James. 

Peha, Tomas de la. See : Historical society of Southern California. 

R 979.41 :1 V. 2 
Picolo, Francisco Maria. Memorial sobre el estado de las Misiones 
nuevamente establecidas en la California por los padres de la 
Compaiiia de Jesus . . . [Guadalaxara, 1702.] (In Davin, 
Diego, tr. Cartas edificantes. y curiosas, escritas de las missiones 
estrangeras . . . Madrid, 1754. v. 3, p. 112-129.) 

in S R 266.2:10 v. 3 

98 Historical Society of Southern California 

A memorial presented to the Royal Audience of Guadalajara, 
the 10th of February, 1702, by the Jesuit father, Francisco 
Maria Picolo. In the opening paragraph, the author makes 
a quaint explanation of his purpose. "... I am going 
to give an exact and faithful account concerning the dis- 
coveries and establishments, which Father Juan Maria de 
Salvatierra and I made in California in the space of the five 
years we were in that delightful country." The library has 
also the French text of 1705. Father Kino's map of Cah- 
fornia accompanies the text. 
. Informe del estado de la nueva 

Christiandad de California, que pidio por auto, la real audiencia 
de Guadalaxara, obedeciendo a la real cedula de N. Rey y Senorj 
D. Phelipe V. [Guadalajara. 1702.] S R 979.4:31 

The "Real Cedula" of Philip V, granting an annual income to 
the California missions and demanding information concern- 
ing their welfare, is included in this copy of Picolo's report, 
which the audience requested in obedience to the royal decree. 
The "Informe" has much of the descriptive material given in 
the Memorial. 
Portola, Caspar de. Diary of Caspar de Portola during the Cali- 
fornia expedition of 1769-1770, ed. by Donald Eugene Smith 
. . . and Frederick J. Teggart . . . Berkeley, 1909. 

in R 979:13 v. 1 
(Publications of the Academy of Pacific coast history, v. 1, no. 3.) 
Spanish and English text. The account that "Don Caspar de 
Portola, Captain of Dragoons in the Espaiia regiment, Gov- 
ernor of the Californias ..." kept day by day, while in 
command of the expedition which sighted the Bay of San 
[Preciado, Francisco.] ... La relatione di Francesco Vlloa. 
( In Primo-terzo volume, & terza editione della navigationi et 
viaggi . . . Venetia, 1556. v. 3. p. 339-354.) R 910.4:23 v. 3 
The story of Ulloa's gallant exploration of the Gulf of California. 
Library has also English translation in Hakluyt's . . . 
Voyages, navigations, traffiques . . . London, 1600. v. 3, 
p. 397-424.) 
Serra, Junipero. . . . Diary of Junipero Serra between Loreto, 
Lower California, and the port of San Diego, March 28 to June 
30, 1769. [Los Angeles. 1902.] S R 979.4:32 

A typed copy of the holograph diary in the Edward A. Ayer 
collection, Chicago. An English translation published in Out 
West, July, 1902, is included. It is a simple, interesting nar- 
rative, reflecting the high courage of the Father President. 

. See also : Historical society of Southern 

California. R 979.41 :1 v.2 

Spain. [Documents concerning G. W. Eayrs, the Alexander, the 

Mercury and allied matters. 1803-1810.] S R 979.4 :34-l 

California from Discovery to End of the Spanish Period 99 

Typed copy from manuscripts of the Archive General y Publico 
de la Nacion, Mexico. 

Spain. [The Mercury case.] n. p. [1806.] SR 979.4:34 

"A manuscript of 1137 pages, comprising- the original docu- 
ments, proceedings, letters, etc., in the only known case in 
which a contraband trader on the California coast came to 
full trial of which official record was left." This interesting 
manuscript was discovered in Mexico, by Dr. Herbert E. 
Bolton, University of California. 

Spain. Laws, statutes, etc. Recopilacion de leyes de los reinos de 
las Indias . . . Madrid, 1681. 4 v. S R 349.72:10 

The basis of general law in New Spain, and the great text for 
the investigation of Spain's colonization system. 

Spain. Sovereigns, etc., 1716-1788. (Carlos III.) Reglamento para 
el gobierno de la provincia de Californias. Aprobado por S. M. 
en Real Orden de 24. de Octubre de 1781. Mexico, 1784. (In 
Land of sunshine, 1896-97. v. 6, p. 77, 117, 153, 193, 251.) 
A reprint of Spanish text with English translation. The regu- 
lations and instructions for the California garrisons. 
Teggart, Frederick John, ed. . . . The official account of the 
Portola expedition of 1769-1770 . . . Berkeley, 1909. 
(Publication of the Academy of Pacific coast history, v. 1, no. 2.) 

R 979:13 v.l 
Spanish and English text. "The original was issued by the 
government of New Spain and was entitled : "Estracto de 
noticias del puerto de Monterrey ..." The "Estracto" 
was also published in Palou's Relacion historica de la vida 
. . . del Venerable Padre Fray Junipero Serra. A 
translation is in Land of Sunshine for July, 1901. 
Torquemada, Juan de. Primera [Segunda, tercera] parte de los 
veinte i un libros rituales i monarchia Indiana . . . Madrid, 
1723. 3 V. S R 973.16:29 

From the vast amount of material which he borrowed from 
earlier writers and as the result of observation, Torquemada 
must be regarded as one of the leading chroniclers of New 
Vancouver, George. Voyage of discovery to the north Pacific ocean 
and round the world . . . London, 1798. f R 917.9:42 

Vancouver sailed by "His Majesty's command, principally with 
a view to ascertain the existence of any navigable communi- 
cation between the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans." 
He arrived at San Francisco, November 14, 1792. He visited 
Monterey anclj sailed down the coast to San Diego. His 
impression of the general condition of the Mission Indians 
was not favorable, and agrees to some extent with that of 

100 Historical Society of Southern California 

Velez de Escalante, Silvestre. The first crossing of the Grand 

Canon, Arizona. Fray Silvestre Velez de Escalante's expedition, 

1776, and related papers. [Los Angeles, 1903-1904.] S R 979.1 :1 

Typed copies of manuscripts in the ''Ramirez Collection", made 

and certified by Charles F. Lummis. Among the manuscripts 

are the letters of the engineer, Bernardo Miera y Pacheco, 

to the King, giving a plan for the settlement of Monterey, 

and to Joseph de Galvez, outlining the road from Sonora 

to Monterey, also Juan Augustin Morfi's report on a line of 

presidios from Monterey to Santa Fe, and the conquest of the 


Venegas, Miguel. Noticia de la Cahfornia, y de su conquista tem- 
poral, y espiritual hasta el tiempo presente . . . Madrid, 
1757. 3 V. S R 979.4:16 

The library has also an English edition of 1759, and a French 
edition of 1767. The Spanish edition contains a number of 
maps not found in the translations, and accounts relative to 
the Northwest Passage by Henry Ellis and the mysterious 
Bartolome Fonte. 

. El apostol mariano, representado en la 

vida del V. P. Juan Maria de Salvatierra . . . Mexico, 1754. 

S R 922 :S 18 
An account of the Jesuit occupation of Lower California, as 
well as a biography of the great Jesuit, Juan Maria de Salva- 
Vila, Vicente. . . . The Portola expedition of 1769-1770; 
diary of Vicente Vila ; ed. by Robert Selden Ross . . . 
Berkeley, 1911. (Publications of the Academy of Pacific coast 
history, v. 2, no. 1.) in R 979:13 v 2 

Spanish and English text. The log-book of Don Vicente Vila, 
commander of the ship San Carlos, Portola expedition. 
Vizcaino, Sebastian. See: Historical society of Southern California. 

R 979.41:1 v. 2 

Zarate Salmeron, Geronimo de. Relating all things that have been 

seen and known in New Mexico as well by sea as by land from 

the year 1538 till that of 1626 ... (In Land of Sunshine, 

1899-1900. V. 11, p. 337 iv. 12, p. 39, 104, 180.) 

The author of this work had access to many documents now 

lost. "His 'Relation' was written in 1626. Its first notes 

were merely the hearsay of the day ; but thenceforward he is 

one of our most important witnesses." 


Arroyo de la Cuesta, Felipe. Grammar of the Mutsun language, 
spoken at the Mission of San Juan Bautista, Alta California. 1861. 

S R 497.5 :2 

California from Discovery to End of the Spanish Period 101 

The compiler of this grammar came to California about 1810. 

It has proved of value to the students of comparative Indian 


Hassey Oloardo, tr. De la lengua Waicura de la Baja California, 

traducido del Aleman, de una obra anonima de un Jesuita mis- 

ionero publicado en 1773. (In Sociedad de geografia y estadistica. 

Boletin. 1872. 2d Epoca. v. 4. p. 31-40.) 

inSR972:212dEpoca. V. 4 
"... Written by a German missionary who lived thirteen 
years in Lower California ..." 
Sitjar, Buenaventura. Vocabulario de los naturales de la Mision de 
San Antonio, Alta California, 1861. S R 497.3 :2 

Father Sitjar and Father Pieras, the authors of this vocabulary, 
were the first missionaries to the Mission San Antonio de 
The library has also the collections of voyages, Burney, Mavor and 
Phillips, which give condensed accounts of the English, French 
and Spanish struggle for the control of the South Sea. 


(Letters Furnished by Miss Harriette Saxton) 

William Carroll was graduated from Geneva College (now 
Hobart) sometime in the forties, and had been a practicing physician 
for several years in the village of Gilberts Mills, N. Y. His health 
becoming precarious, he decided to leave his wife and three small 
children and to seek health and wealth in that El Dorado to which 
so many young men were going at that time. 

The following letters were written to his sister and her husband, 
Ann and William Buck, of Merridian, N. Y. : 

Salmon Falls, Cal, May 1, 1860. 
My dear sister Ann : 

You cannot imagine with what satisfaction I rec'd your letter 
which came to hand today. I rec'd one from my own folks at the 
same time which quieted my fears very much as I had written to 
them five times since I started to Cal. I believe I wrote to you 
just before I reached Aspinwall. I suppose that it would be as 
interesting to you as anything to hear the events of the sea voyage. 
. . . We arrived at Aspinwall Monday, 8 days after we left 
N. York City, stopped awhile and rested our weary limbs in the 
shade for it is very hot there. There is a small place of some 300 
or 4O0 inhabitants, a mixture of Spanish and Indian and Negro. 
There is an abundance of tropical fruit here of all kinds. The 
natives appear very friendly and are constantly asking you to buy 
in very emploring terms saying "Buy or-an-ges, sweety, buy or-an- 
ges, sweety, buy a glass of lemonade, sweety, cool lemonade". The 
cocoa tree is the most beautiful tree that I ever saw. The palm 
grows here in great abundance likewise the orange and lemon. 

The railroad here must have been constructed at a great sacrifice 
of human life, running as it does along the sluggish stream, the 
Chargres River, then through swampy jungles where the vegetation 
is so thick that no man would think of getting through without cut- 
ting his road as he went. 

At many places along the rout there are many negro villages 
if they may be called such, the rudest constructed houses you ever 
saw. A few posts driven into (the) ground and a simple thatched 
roof comprises all of the architecture you see, all open at the sides 
or a little bark set up or matting hung up to keep out the hot sun. 
These natives have no beds or furniture in their houses, they sleep 
on the ground and are very indolent in their habits. . . . the 


Historical Society of Southern California 103 

females are most fantastically dressed in calico that red forms the 
largest figure. 

We crossed the Isthmus, a distance of 48 miles, in three hours. 
Got aboard the splendid steamer, Golden Age, at sundown in Panama 
Bay. This is an old place, it is composed of the old town and the 
new town, the old part plainly bears the marks of antiquity. Its 
crumbling and dilapidated walls, its monasteries which are in the 
best state of preservation, its battlements and fortified garrison 
plainly show that this was once quite a town some time in the 15" 
century. It was taken by General BoUivar 1798 and belongs to New 

Five and one-half days brought us to Acapulco a small but very 
safe harbor that lies behind the hills. We saw nothing of the place 
until we were upon it. At a small opening in the rocky coast the 
steamer makes a few turns in a winding tortuous course and you are 
in a small bay where the wind was never known to blow, high moun- 
tains on every side. Here we see Acapulco. 

The steamer cannot get up to a dock, anchors in the bay. Now 
for a chase. At the approach of a steamer, the natives start in their 
boats, and he is the lucky fellow that can get there first. Seventy-five 
to a hundred start in skiflfs laden with all kinds of fruit, bread, 
sugar, whiskey, coral, fowls, hogs, tobacco, cigars, turtles, etc., etc., 
and such a confusion and tongues you never heard. Sufllice to say 
that we traded some $2000 in the short space of three hours, took 
on coal and water, and put out to sea again the same night. . . . 

Seven days sail from Acapulco brought us into San Francisco. 
This is a place of some importance, but not a handsome place. It 
is built on a hillside and uneven surface. Here you are reminded 
of New York Harbor from the amount of shipping. Flags of all 
nations are floating from the mast-heads. A stranger is not in 
half the danger here of having his pockets rifled as he would be in 
New York. 

Our Company left together, and after staying one day here, 
started for Sacramento. There is the greatest attraction here for 
a greeny to lose his money in the world. Splendid gambling saloons 
fitted up in the most costly style, and rich music salutes the ear. 
The Dutch and French own these establishments. 

We got aboard the splendid steamer Antelope, and arrived the 
same day at Sacramento without money or friends. We enquired 
of this one and that one for a location, but finally ventured alone 
on foot, and, weary with travel, found a friend who proved a friend 
indeed. We stayed at his house one week and rested our weary 
limbs, and when I came away he put a tewnty dollar gold piece in 
my pocket, and would take no promise of pay, but said he had done 
no more than what he should expect of another in like circumstances. 
I had never seen this man before. He likewise said if I wanted a 

104 Glimpses of California, 1860-1861 

hundred dollars I could have it. This is a specimen of the liberality 
of California. 

I traveled up and down the mountains a few days, and have 
finally pitched my tent here for the season. I am teaching^ a small 
district school. I have eight to twelve scholars. I get a salary of 
$60.00 for the month of twenty-two days. I could have done much 
better in a larger town, but there is no Doctor within ten miles, 
and a part of the season quite sickly. . . . 

I do not expect that I shall dig in the mines. There is a con- 
siderable done in this locality, but mostly by Chinamen. You may 
stretch the imagination to its utmost extent, and you will come far 
short of comprehending the amount of labor done here for gold. 
Hundreds, yes thousands of acres have been turned over and over 
again and again, and now John Chinaman is at it, and many times 
gets paid ; but the kind that pays here now is deep tunnelling and 
hydraulics claims for quartz to yield well, but all this kind of mining 
requires experience and a large capital. . . . 

Ann, this is the most beautiful climate in the world. The days 
are quite hot even now, but at night a person wants three good 
blankets. We are going to have an abundant harvest. Wheat is 
nearly all headed out, and will be fit to cut in a few weeks. Barley 
is very stout. Fruit is in abundance, even apples and pears, and no 
country can equal this in peaches, plums, cherries, apricots, figs and 
the like. Thousands of acres are covered by these fruits, especially 
the peach. The grape does extraordinarily well here. They are 
manufacturing wine here that equals the French. Another feature 
of the country, they have no frost. Cattle get their living the year 
around, as well as sheep and horses. There is no kind of barns 
here nor cellars. There is no such finished farm houses here as 
you have there, nor indeed do they require it. Instead of lathing 
and plastering, the houses are lined inside with bleached Factory 
Cloth, which give them a very tidy appearance, and render them 
very comfortable, and some are whitewashed if they get soiled or 
smoky. . . . 

Salmon Falls, June 27th, 1860. 
My dear sister Ann Buck : 

. . . I am teaching school here yet. I am getting good wages, 
$3.00 per day, and shall teach six months at that rate. I am doing 
a small amount of medical business. It is very healthy here at 
present, and no great amount to do except in curing Delirium 
Tremens. I have had two cases, one being a merchant by the name 
of Thomas Brown, of Wayne County, N. Y. The other was an old 
soaker from Missouri. This is a great place for amusement. Balls, 
horse racing, drinking, is considered no disgrace until a man is 
completely ruined, and then they say, "Let him go, the sooner the 
better". Not much sympathy expressed here. There have been 

Historical Society of Southern California 105 

some seventy-five strangers buried here in ten years, and not a 
funeral sermon has ever been preached in the place. Shame that 
men will become so debased, and lose all those finer and enobling 
qualities that characterize the Christian from the Heathen. There 
is a vast more feeling manifested among Celestials, for they not 
only bury their dead decently, but place a jug of Brandy and a dish 
of good rice in his coffin, but set up the most dismal wailing, and 
sooner or later disinter him, and take him back to his Fatherland. 

The people of California are very impulsive and generous even 
to a fault in many things. My first term used up all of the public 
money they had in the Treasury, and they wanted to keep me 
another Quarter, and I will tell you how they earned the funds. 
They got up a party here and sold tickets to the amount of $130; 
had it at a private house (a Southern Blood) ; held a dance in the 
new school-house ; put up a bar under a large oak tree in school yard ; 
sold champagne and wine, ginger beer and lager, lemonade and ice 
cream, to the amount of nearly a hundred more. Do you think I 
attended? You say, "No", but I did though. I did not calculate to 
go near, but a delegation of ladies was appointed to wait on me 
if I did not go willingly, but by adroitness I managed to slip away 
about midnight, and went to bed leaving them alone with their glory. 
It cost me $8.00, and I neither danced or drank during the evening, 
but I could not get rid of it, and so let slide. They seemed to 
enjoy it very much, but I felt guilty all the time I was there, and 
had it not been got up for my benefit, should not have attended. 
Everybody here expects the Doctor to attend all such sprees, but 
I think this is my last, whether I get employment or not. There 
is to be a picnic on the 4th of July, and I expect to attend, but this 
is to be a temperance party, as they are willing to let me have my 
own way about the management of it. . . . 

I am very contented. I do not have to labor hard. I have only 
fifteen scholars, and I never earned $100 so easy in my life. I am 
teaching a Sabbath School of about fifteen boys and girls. They 
are very good in attendance, and appear to learn well. They are 
nearly as ignorant as their parents of the Bible, but a vast more 
tractable, and willing to learn, but religion in California is quite 
different than what it is in New York. A kind of religion that 
will let a man drink all the whiskey he can pour down and break 
the Sabbath every week, is the kind they have here, and it is not 
uncommon for the minister to join in their parties, and take carnal 
delight in them. We have preaching here occasionally by the M. 
E. P. denomination. He is quite smart but lacks many things to 
make up a true shepherd. The people turn out very well and pay 
due respect when in meeting, but oh the power of habit in evil 
associations. How quick a man loses his vows and love of religion. 
In this land crime and gold mammon is very apt to choke the good 

106 Glimpses of California, 1860-1861 

seed sown in the best soil unless watered by the healing streams of 
salvation. . . . 

Upon reading my letter, William, I find I have not said much 
to you, and so I add this. You could do well here on ten acres of 
good land, make more than double the money you can off ypur 
farm in raising ducks, turkeys, and pigs and hens. Hens sell readily 
at the door for $1.25 apiece, ducks $2.00, turkeys $5.00, hogs 10c 
per pound live weight, geese $3.00 to $4.00 apiece, eggs 50c to 75c 
per dozen. This is true as preaching. 

I think I shall spend the remainder of my days in California. 
Such a climate you cannot form much of an idea of. I think when 
I tome after my family, you had better come out. 

Note — By this time the fascination of the country had taken 
hold of the Doctor. He says in his next letter, which is dated : 

Secret Ravine, December 29th, 1860. 
Dear Sister: 

, . . I love this climate, the most pleasant in the world. It 
is now near the first of the second winter month, and we have mild 
days. The hills and valleys look green. It is true we have had 
more rain this month than common, which has caused a great 
flood in the Sacramento Valley. The city has been so flooded that 
steamers could sail all over the lower part. The American River 
raised 55 feet in two days, carried away nearly all the bridges, and 
is doing immense damage to the mines. There is quite a complaint 
of the miners that the late freshets have filled up their claims, and 
made them a great deal of unnecessary labor, and there is quite 
a scarcity of provisions up in the country owing to the flood in 
Sacramento. They have to use boatsj to go from one street to 
another. The water pours through the streets like a vast river, and 
is about six feet deep in the south part. The overland telegraph 
does not bring the news very steady of late owing to its extreme 
length, and the late storms of rair^ and snow. It is hard to keep it 
in working order or to keep the poles up. 

December 31st. — The city of Sacramento is still under water. 
Boats have to be used to convey passengers into and from the City, 
and costs merchants $40.00 per ton to get goods to Breighton, a 
distance five miles to the nearest point on the railroad. This city 
looks like an immense lake. When the water will subside it is hard 
to say, but not until it stops raining. 

We have no religious society in this place except Catholic. I 
am trying to live a devoted follower of Christ, but in a country 
like this, there are many things that tend to draw a man away from 
religion, but I am determined not to turn to the vain allurements 
of a wicked world around me. I have established a Sabbath School 
here, and try to give the children the best instruction I am capable 
of. Drinking and dancing is the chief delight of the people, who 

Historical Society of Southern California 107 

appear very friendly otherwise. We have plenty of "Secesh" here. 
Many of the patrons of the school here are of that stripe, but I 
say nothing but think the more. Many of them are good men, but 
like many of their Southern friends, are terribly fanatic. 

If I conclude to stay a year or two, you had better let Americus 
(a nephew) come here, and I will secure him a school at a salary 
of $800.00 per year, if he is well posted in school teaching. That is 
much better than he could do there. 

Note — The next letter, dated over a year later, indicates a 
change of heart. The Doctor had been suffering from a complica- 
tion of intermittent fever and homesickness, which resulted in his 
final decision to leave the country. His last letter is dated : 

Mormon Island, April, 1861. 
Dear sister Ann : 

I think that Americus had better teach there awhile, and see 
how he likes the business, as he has not seen enough of the "traps 
and deadfalls" of the world to go among these heathen here in 

My health is feeble for want of relaxation, and a little exercise. 
I shall have a short vacation, and try and recruit a little. Tell 
Albert I have not forgotten him, but cannot recommend this country 
as being a good place for him. He is too young to come here, but 
wish him well. Tell him to be steady and finish his trade, and he 
will do much better there than here, and I have been very homesick 
for a few days. Ann, if I had two or three hundred more dollars, I 
should come home this Spring. It is true, I can make more money 
here than at home. The climate is grand, but this avails nothing. 
I am not at home. I shall return this Fall, make up my mind to 
stay on my place, and be contented. I have seen as much of the 
world as I care about seeing. I have done middling well so far, 
and if I can have the good luck to get home safely, I shall try and be 

I was in San Francisco last week attending a State Board of 
Examination of Teachers, stayed five days, saw the city, and the 
"Elephant", spent $15.00 and my time, and don't know as I am 
much better off. 

Note — He left CaHfornia shortly after this letter, returned to 
New York State, and lived and died in the little village of Gilberts 
Mills, firmly convinced that there was no other place in all the world 
to compare with his home. 

Organized November 1, 1883 

Incorporated February 12, 1891 


Historical Society 





Organized November 1, 1883 Incorporated February 12, 1 89 1 



Historical Society 




McBride Printing Company 



Officers of the Historical Society 4 

Los Angeles County War History Committee 

Mrs. Frances M. Charlton-Harmon 5 

Senator Thomas R. Bard and the Arizona New Mexico Statehood 

Controversy Waldemar Westergaard 9 

The Conquest of Los Angeles Mrs. Corinne King Wright 18 

Founding and Early History of Anaheim, California . . Lucile Dickson 26 

California Pioneer Journalists Mabel R. Thayer 38 

The Character of General John Bidwell: Two Letters written by. . . 

Mrs. Annie E. K. Bidwell 53 

(Presented by Rockwell D. Hunt) 

A Trip to Death Valley George Miller 56 

(Presented by Rev. W. H. Mills) 

At the End of the Trail A. Harvey Collins 65 

Glancing Backward Mrs. M. Burton Williams 82 

Announcement 91 





Rockwell D. Hunt President 

Waldemar Westergaard First Vice-President 

Robert G. Cleland Second Vice-President 

M. C. Bettinger Treasurer 

Mabel Guinn Acting Secretary 

Board of Directors 

Rockwell D. Hunt George F. Bovard 

Waldemar Westergaard Roy Malcom 

M. C. Bettinger Mrs. Lucy M. Gaines 

Robert G. Cleland 


By Mrs. Frances M. Carlton-Harmon, 
Chairman of Los Angeles County War History Committee 

In presenting this account of the origin and organization 
of the Los Angeles County War History Committee, and in 
outlining its plans to the Historical Society of Southern 
California, I recognize that it will not be necessary to em- 
phasize the need of such a piece of work nor the obligation 
which we of the present owe to those of the future that the 
record of this great period be preserved. Your very exist- 
ence as an organization bespeaks your interest, and, may I 
dare to suggest, your co-operation? 

It is proposed that the County record shall cover, in the 
broadest way, the full history of the County's participation 
in our history-making work, and the operations of all 
Federal activities. State and Local agencies, with the proper 
recognition of the fine men and women who have so loyally 
contributed to the desired end. 

Recognizing the necessity for the preservation of such 
records, the Executive Committee of the State Council of 
Defense for California created a War History Committee 
which enlisted the services of the California Historical Sur- 
vey Commission, and Dr. Owen C. Coy, the Secretary of 
that Commission, was loaned to organize War History Com- 
mittees in the various counties of the State. Under these 
auspices several pieces of work were started : 

(1) Pamphlets and information circulars were issued 
by the State Committee, among them "California in the 
War," dealing with California's plan for recording her part 
in the Great Conflict. 

(2) Biography cards were issued through the libraries, 
and upon these much valuable information was recorded. 

(3) Photographs of soldiers were obtained wherever 

(4) Just before the Armistice a Casualty List was 
compiled. At that time all casualties had not been reported 
and the list in consequence was incomplete and inaccurate. 

(5) Instructions were sent to heads of many depart- 
ments of war work in the State, such as Councils of De- 
fense, Liberty Loan, Food Administration, Draft Boards, 
etc., asking for records and history of their activities. 


6 Historical Society of Southern California 

When, however, the State Council of Defense went out 
of existence, at the signing of the Armistice, its committees, 
of which the War History Committee was one, ceased to 
function officially; but the work so well begun was con- 
tinued through the energy of the State Chairman, and dur- 
ing the recent session of the California Legislature a bill 
was introduced into the Senate, passed by both houses and 
duly signed by the Governor, placing the work of the War 
History Committee under the jurisdiction of the California 
Historical Survey Commission, with headquarters at the Doe 
Library, Berkeley, the personnel of the State Commission 
being Judge John F. Davis, Dr. Herbert E. Bolton and Mr. 
Edward A. Dickson. 

In taking over the work of the War History Committee 
the Historical Survey Commission has also taken over its 
organization. The Committee as originally appointed in 
Los Angeles County was: Mrs. Frances M. Carlton-Harmon, 
Chairman; Dean Rockwell D. Hunt, Mr. Orra E. Monnette 
and Miss Laura Cooley. 

This was designed to be a working nucleus augmented 
by appointments by the County Chairman as the work might 
demand. The Chairman has added to the initial commit- 
tee the names of Mrs. Hancock Banning, Mr. Frank Dag- 
gett,^ Mr. Melville Dozier, Mrs. Frank Gibson, Dr. E. C. 
Moore, Mr. Marshall Stimson, Mrs. Joseph Sartori, Major 
Walter Tuller, Mr. Lucien N. Brunswig, Mrs. Josias Evans 
Cowles, Mr. Jonathan Dodge, Mr. Frank F. Merriam, Mrs. 
O. S. Barnum, Miss Celia Gleason, and Mrs. Florence 

The State Commission requests that each county get 
under headway at once and particularly urges that Los 
Angeles County work out a system and plan that may be- 
come a pattern throughout the State, — probably because 
the size and diversity of conditions in this county present 
practically every problem that could be encountered else- 
where in the State. 

The Committee has been guaranteed the financial sup- 
port of the County Board of Supervisors to the extent of 
office equipment and supplies and such other expenditures 
as may be needed to complete successfully its undertaking. 

That the scope of the work is enormous, — not to say 
appalling, — is not difficult to realize. But there are certain 
very deffnite divisions that have been made to conform to 
state-wide conditions and which may and should be under- 
taken at once because of the surprising evanescence of ma- 

The Los Angeles County War History Committee 7 

terial and data. The work of each of these divisions has 
been assigned to a sub-committee in charge of each division. 

To specify : 

I. Sub-Committee on Biographies: 

Purposes — To get biographies, cards and photographs, 
as far as possible, of every person who enlisted or who was 
drafted into the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the 
Aviation Corps, the Medical Service, the Nurses, etc., — with 
especial emphasis placed upon the effort to obtain for the 
State's Biographical Series biographies and pictures of 
those who died in the service. This material as gathered 
becomes the property of the State, and it is the purpose of 
the State to publish in a series of volumes a brief biography 
and a photograph, where obtainable, of each person in 

II Sub-Committee on Registration and Drafts. 

Purposes — To collect data regarding the Registration 
Boards — with pictures and nev/spaper articles, also mate- 
rials used; and this Committee also shall, after it has 
gathered this information and material, compile and pre- 
pare a history of this work. 

III. Sub-Committee on Activities of Various Organizations. 
Purposes — Material of interest to be gathered for the 

Historical Research Committee and a history of the several 
organizations secured from the heads of those organiza- 
tions, — e. g., Red Cross, Liberty Loan Committee, Food Ad- 
ministration, Fuel Administration, Four-Minute Men, Coun- 
cils of Defense, Farm Labor Committee, Medical and Dental 
Aid, Nurses, Boy Scouts, Soldiers' Welfare, Religious Wel- 
fare, Committee on Reconstruction, Women's Organiza- 
tions, Public Schools' Co-operation, Public Libraries, Co- 
operation, etc. In short, any organized war work done in 
the County. 

IV. Sub-Committee. 

To see that information and interesting historical mat- 
ter is collected and a short historical account compiled on 
the following subjects: (1) Repression of Enemy Plots; 
(2) Pacifism; (3) I. W. W. Activities; (4) War Legisla- 
tion — Federal, State, County, Local; (5) Public War Meet- 
ings; (6) Visits of Notables during War Period. 

V. Sub-Committee on Collection of Posters and War Pub- 

Undoubtedly other work has already suggested itself, 
but this much under way at the moment gives us ample 

8 Historical Society of Southern California 

opportunity for the development of our organization plans 
and to put the work in running order. 

The work of proving and correcting the Casualty List 
of the County has been taken over by the American Legion, 
acting under the War History Committee, and it will also 
undertake to gather biographical data and photographs of 
those who died in the service. This list embraces about a 
thousand names. 

Obtaining the Biographies of the non-casualty group, 
containing names of all who entered the service of their 
country, will be a much greater task and will need helpers 
recruited from all sorts and conditions of organizations. 
This is the piece of work most likely to attract the public 
notice, and will call for the most detailed labor. It seems a 
stupendous task, and yet it must be attacked with courage 
because the students of the future will search eagerly to 
discover what part their community or their progenitors 
took in this great struggle. This is an obvious obligation. 

But to students of history such as are represented in this 
group there are of course many other angles of research, — 
the gathering of records of war organizations, of describ- 
ing temporary or emergency measures, of gathering and 
preserving what lies about us today as commonplace mate- 
rial, of gleaning data regarding pre-war conditions and pre- 
paredness plans, of recording post-war developments, — 
these things of course give room and scope for the energy 
of every history enthusiast. 

The President of the Historical Society of Southern Cali- 
fornia heads one of the sub-committees which will carry out 
this program. Would it be out of order to suggest, or at 
least express the hope that your Society resolve itself into a 
committee of the whole to help your President in his patri- 
otic undertaking? 


By Professor Waldemar Westergaard 

The struggle of Arizona and New Mexico for state- 
hood in the first decade of our century served to bring into 
clear relief the sense of solidarity of the great Southwest; 
it helped to make the people of New Mexico, Arizona and 
Southern California, the region described in literature as 
"the land of little rain," conscious of possessing certain in- 
terests in common which transcended the local diversities 
of population or of natural habitat. 

During the first five years of this period, from 1900 to 
1905, the issue of statehood for the two territories of the 
Southwest was closely bound up with the senatorial career 
of Thomas R. Bard of Hueneme, Ventura County, whose 
persistent opposition first to single and later to joint state- 
hood in the face of tremendous pressure from his own party 
(Republican) in both houses of Congress and among in- 
fluential publicists and politicians, brought upon his head 
a terrific storm of vituperation from the Arizona press. 
This political tempest was not confined to Arizona and the 
California Senator, but the storm center was shifted to Los 
Angeles just long enough to create a situation which the 
political opponents of Senator Bard lost no time in turning 
to their advantage. 

In the month of February, 1905, after Mr. Bard had 
been defeated for re-election in January, the governor of 
Arizona, in a public banquet in Phoenix, however, had 
occasion to toast the Californian for his services to "the 
people of Arizona, proud of their achievements, their his- 
tory and their traditions." The Senator's defeat and Ari- 
zona's assurance of separate statehood furnish a dramatic 
close to a significant chapter in Southwestern history. It 
is the purpose of this paper to present the essential details 
of this story, for later it was largely due to Mr. Bard's 
efforts and to his sturdy adherence to principle and to what 
he considered the best interests of the great Southwest that 
Arizona was finally given the chance to be admitted as a 
separate state. 

Thomas R. Bard had been elected as United States 
Senator from California after an exciting legislativie con- 
test in the winter of 1900. A California pioneer who had 


10 Historical Society of Southern California 

fought his way to leadership by his clear-sighted judg- 
ment in business affairs, his rugged honesty, and his whole- 
hearted devotion to the highest interests of the region that 
he had chosen for his home, Mr. Bard entered into his sen- 
atorial duties admirably equipped to represent California 
and the Southwest. One of his Santa Barbara friends had 
estimated his character with accuracy as early as 1870, 
when he wrote him: **I envy your energy and your ability 
to snatch success from disaster and diflficulties. Indeed 
you must be a happy fellow." 

Mr. Bard was more thoroughly at home in the com- 
mittee room or at the table of a board of directors than on 
the public platform. He was not without political experi- 
ence, however. A county supervisor and candidate for 
state senator in the seventies, in 1892 he was the only 
Republican elected on the ticket during the Democratic 
landslide of that year. 

Mr. Bard's election to the Senate was generally looked 
upon as remarkable by the independent press in that he 
was chosen for the position "without money, without a 
machine and without railroad aid;"^ but there was appar- 
ently no lack of opposition of various kinds when the ques- 
tion of statehood for Arizona and New Mexico provided 
an opening for attack. 

Statehood for the Southwest territories had been urged 
with increasing insistence since the early nineties. There 
had been hearings before committees in the House and Sen- 
ate, both in Washington and in the territories; Democratic 
conventions beginning with that of 1892 had championed 
with increasing vehemence the territorial cause ; while the 
Republicans, in power after 1896, had been fit to approve 
in milder, more reserved, and more general terms. 

In the 57th Congress, which convened in December, 
1901, the interest in statehood for the three remaining ter- 
ritories within the United States proper culminated in a 
series of bills providing for admission of the territories, by 
ones, and twos, and all together. The House Committee on 
Territories finally reported, on April 1, 1902, a measure "to 
enable the people of Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico 

to be admitted into the Union on an equal footing 

with the original states." The House passed this omnibus 
bill on May 9th and the Senate began its consideration on 
the 12th. 

From this time until 1910 v/hen the bills for admitting 
both Arizona and New Mexico as separate states finally 
passed in both Houses of Congress and received the signa- 

1. "Oakland Enciuirer." 25 Mar., 1900, in editorial widely quoted in Califor- 
nia and elsewhere. 

The Arizona-New Mexico Statehood Controversy 11 

ture of President Taft, the matter of statehood was a lead- 
ing subject for parliamentary battle, particularly in the 
Senate. Senator M. S. Quay of Pennsylvania was heavily 
interested in New Mexican railroad enterprises and early 
became the champion of statehood for New Mexico, which 
in gratitude named one of its counties after him. 

Senator Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana, chairman of 
the Senate Committee on Territories, in his report presented 
to the Senate December 10, 1902, opposed statehood, and 
was seconded in his efforts by Senators Aldrich, Knute 
Nelson, Hale, Lodge, Piatt and others. The interests of 
Arizona were represented at this time by Delegate M. A. 
Smith, a Democrat. 

Senator Bard, as a member of the Committee on Ter- 
ritories, had been present at the hearings held before the 
Committee in June. He had not accompanied Senator 
Beveridge and his party on their tour of the southwest in 
November. Early in December, Senator Bard was reported 
as having stated that his negative vote on the omnibus 
statehood bill when it came up in the Senate Committee 
was cast in the belief that "the level of intelligence of the 
average population is not high enough for statehood," — 
in fact, had been stationary for many years, — and that 
"Arizona has reached the height of its development for 
the present." — views that evoked fierce comment from the 
Arizona press.- Meantime the Los Angeles Merchants 
and Manufacturers Association had begun to feel the pres- 
sure from Arizona, and on December 10 sent the California 
Senator a telegram urging him to vote for Arizona state- 
hood. =* To this the latter sent a brief but courteous reply 
stating why he could not accede. 

On January 29 and February 2, 1903, in a carefully 
prepared speech. Senator Bard came out strongly against 
statehood for the two Territories, and likewise for Okla- 
homa without Indian Territory. He limited his arguments 
mainly to Arizona. He emphasized the slow growth in 
Arizona's population during the years 1860-1900, as com- 
pared with other states, and stated that the decade 1890- 
1900 showed an increase of over 25 per cent in the foreign- 
born Mexican population. He adverted to the fact that 
whereas the illiteracy percentage in Arizona's total popu- 
lation in the census of 1900 for persons ten years and over 
was 29 per cent, that of its white population was only 14.9, 
while its colored population, including Indians, negroes and 
Mongolians, showed 73.56 per cent illiterate. The large 

2. Cf. quotation from "Phoenix Republican," 6 Dec, 1902, in "Tucson Citi- 
zen," 2 July, 1904. 

3. Quoted in San Francisco "Bulletin," 12 June, 1904. 

12 Historical Society of Southern California 

percentage of unmarried males was to him evidence of the 
transient character of the population. He feared the in- 
fluence of the Mormons in the proposed state, who in 1890 
constituted one-fifth of the population. This was a char- 
actistic attitude on the Senator's part, who was a consistent 
opponent of interference by religious bodies in political 
affairs. Neither Arizona nor New Mexico, he felt, showed 
an increase in its assessed valuation of property since 1883 
that would justify hope in its ability to assume the burdens 
of state government. There was as much reason on the 
ground of the valuation of property and the nature of their 
resources to separate the counties of San Bernardino and 
San Diego from California and admit them as states. In 
the concluding paragraphs of his speech, Mr. Bard referred 
to the possibilities of irrigation of the exceedingly rich 
soils in the arid parts of the Southwest, but expressed his 
conviction that the cost of the great work of reclamation 
could at this time only be properly met by the national 
government, which had already made "a fair beginning" 
in "the immense enterprise of reclaiming the great arid 

Despite strenuous and persistent effort on the part of 
the New Mexico and Arizona delegates, the statehood meas- 
ure failed to come to a vote in the session that closed March 
4, 1903. In the course of the summer it became clearer and 
clearer that Senator Quay, the most astute and thorough- 
going champion of statehood for the Territories, was pre- 
paring to sponsor a measure providing for joining the two 
Territories into a single state. The Republican House leader, 
Joseph G. Cannon, slated for Speaker of the Fifty-eighth 
Congress, was reported to be in favor of such a measure 
and prepared to appoint a Committee on Territories of like 
mind.* As early as April, 1903, ex-Governor Murphy of 
Arizona, in a public interview in San Francisco, made a bit- 
ter attack upon Senator Bard, in which he credited him with 
being mainly responsible for defeating the statehood meas- 

"Why Senator Bard would not go on record for right and justice is 
difficult to understand, especially as it is assumed that the interests of his 
state would be advanced by increased Western representation. While 
sectionalism would at all times be deplored, the far Eastern Senators are 
determined to prevent if possible the adding to our representation in 
Congress, and for us to find an enemy where we had every reason to be- 
lieve we had a warm friend, was a blow. 

"People in Arizona were bitterly disappointed in the failure of the 
bill to pass, and they feel that Senator Bard was more directly responsible 
for its defeat than even Senator Beveridge, Chairman of the Senate Com- 
mittee on Territories. Senator Bard's vote would have insured a favor- 

4. Doug-las, Ariz., "International," 17 Oct., 1908. 

5. Eureka, Cal., "Standard," 4 Apr., 1903. 

The Arizona-New Mexico Statehood Controversy 13 

able report from the committee at the long session and would have 
secured practically the passage of the measure. Naturally the feeling 
against him is bitter. 

"I cannot understand his attitude as a Senator from California, whose 
interests are so closely allied to those of Arizona. Two Senators for 
Arizona would have meant four Senators for the great State of California, 
for there is absolutely no conflict of interest between the two localities, 
and all the representatives would have worked as one man for the com- 
mon interest." 

Senator Bard happened to be in San Francisco at this 
time, and was likewise interviewed. Among other things 
he said: "But how Arizona's being a State or a Territory 
could remotely affect the interests of California, I cannot 
say (sic). Arizona as a State could not promote our in- 
terests or harm them." He was to learn before long that 
his own political interests were in a peculiar degree bound 
up with Arizona Territory. 

On June 4, the San Diego "Union" raised its editorial 
voice to say that: 

"It is particularly for the advantage of California that Arizona, which 
might fitly be termed this state's 'back country,' should be developed as it 
only can be under statehood. . . . The mere fact that some senators 
gravely attempted to get up that preposterous Mormon scare with refer- 
ence to the admission of Arizona was ample proof of their lack of valid 
reasons for opposing statehood for the territory." 

The editor went on to suggest bringing pressure to bear 
from California and the entire Pacific Coast, "since its ad- 
mission means two more senators and a representative who 
will stand with the coast delegations in Congress in all mat- 
ters affecting the welfare of the far West." 

With such opposition to Senator Bard's stand both in 
Southern California and in Arizona — to say nothing of New 
Mexico — it was evident that the political atmosphere was 
being charged and that the lightning was prepared to strike 
almost anywhere. At the same time, when intimations were 
broached in the southwestern press that a proposal was be- 
ing considered for uniting Arizona and New Mexico into 
one commonwealth, a Los Angeles evening paper reported 
that "well known and influential Arizonans declare they 
will have none of the proposed half loaf, and rather than 
accept what will be offered, they will continue doing busi- 
ness as at present for an indefinite time."" 

In the latter part of July, 1903, a dinner was given by 
the Iroquois Club of Los Angeles in honor of Champ Clark 
of Missouri. Arizona's delegate in Congress, Marcus A. 
Smith, was present and took occasion to attack, in a semi- 
humorous vein, Senator Bard's position as to statehood. He 

Los Angeles "Express," 4 June, 1903. 

14 Historical Society of Southern California 

referred to the support of Arizona given by Senator Gal- 
linger of New Hampshire, "while this man here (Bard) was 
saying: 'No, you cannot have statehood. You have some 
Mormons and some Indians down there.' " 

To add piquancy to the occasion. Representative James 
McLachlan, "Republican and accidental statesman," as Gen- 
eral H. G. Otis called him, made a speech in which he said, 
"Mark Smith, God bless him! I'll never forget the elo- 
quence with which he fought for statehood. The universal 
sentiment of this state was in favor of admitting Arizona 
to statehood."^ 

This incident loosed the flood gates of editorial elo- 
quence in the Arizona press, and aroused to vigor much 
of the latent opposition to Senator Bard in California, but 
especially in the south. The Tucson, Arizona, "Citizen" 
published on July 28 an editorial that was typical of much 
that appeared at this time in the Arizona press: 

"In view of the admitted fact that Arizona "pours not less than 
half a million dollars annually into the lap of Los Angeles, through the 
medium of summer visitors, and that Arizona's trade with California 
mounts to millions each year, Arizona feels that she has a right to 
complain to the people of California of the conduct of Senator Bard of 
that State when Arizona appealed for Statehood to the Congress of the 
United States. . . The great newspapers of California . 
advocated Statehood. Only the Ishmael of California journalism, the 
Los Angeles 'Times', opposed the just demands of Arizona and justified 
the attitude of Bard in ranging himself with the enemies of Arizona in 
the Senate." 

But presently the specter of joint statehood appeared 
on the territorial horizon. Early in August, Quay's pro- 
tege and business associate, William H. ("Bull") Andrews, 
who had moved to New Mexico where he had promptly 
become a territorial senator, was reported as saying to a 
Pittsburg friend who had suggested that possibly Arizona 
might elect Democratic United States senators: "Nobody 
don't need to worry over that. Arizona is to be hitched to 
New Mexico, and that insures two Republican United States 

It is worthy of note that within a fortnight of the 
Iroquois episode, the candidacy of Henry T. Oxnard for 
the United States Senate to succeed Senator Bard was 
promised in a leading article in the Ventura "Free Press.'"* 
Mr. Oxnard was a leading beet sugar manufacturer, and 
had acquired extensive interests and legal residence in Mr. 
Bard's home county. The Bisbee (Ariz.) "Review" took 
occasion to add to the political merriment by a vocabulary- 

7. Los Angeles "Times," 26 July, 1903. 

8. Quoted in Bisbee, Ariz., "Review," 5 Aug., 1903, and Phoenix, Ariz., 
"Enterprise," 6 Aug., 1903. 

9. Ventura, Cal., "Free Press," 11 Aug., 1903. 

The Arizona-New Mexico Statehood Controversy 15 

exhausting editorial directed at Senator Bard and General 
Otis. Mr. Bard was referred to as "an illegitimate child 
of politics," an "egotistical mountebank," "an ingrate to 
the great west, a Judas to his people," and the editor 
prophesied that " this cipher with the rim rubbed off will 
soon return to the infinitessimal spot of obscurity from 
which he was unfortunately lifted." It went on to say 
that "Probably Arizona's contribution to the pocket-books 
of Los Angeles alone, annually, through the medium of 
those who visit there, is not less than three-quarters of a 
million dollars, while the commercial balance in California's 
favor from Arizona amounts to many millions more."^'' 

But the agitation of Arizonans for separate statehood 
died down pretty speedily as it became clear that Senator 
Quay and other leading Republicans were planning to press 
for a merger of the two territories. Arizona sentiment 
was almost solid against such a scheme." The New Mexican 
statehood leaders, on the other hand, accepted the chance 
of joint statehood, not as an ideal arrangement, but be- 
cause they felt assured that they must either secure their 
statehood now or be prepared to wait for an indefinite and 
very likely a considerable period of years. 

So long as a man of Quay's political experience and 
acumen was in charge of the administration forces, which 
were presently lined up on the pro-merger side of the fence, 
there was going to be danger, from the Arizona point of 
view. Arizona's view found a responsive echo on the Cali- 
fornia side when the San Bernardino Board of Trade, on 
motion of Judge F. W. Gregg, passed a resolution protest- 
ing against a forced union which "would deprive the Pacific 
Coast and the great far West of the political power in the 
Senate of the United States which these regions should in 
the future rightfully enjoy. "i- In February, 1904, Delegate 
J. F. Wilson secured action of a caucus of Democratic con- 
gressmen against the joint statehood bill.^^ On reaching the 
Senate, the bill appears to have been "sent to sleep" in the 
Committee on Territories, where Senator Bard's vote was 
able to prevent a favorable report. 

In March, however. Delegate Rodey of New Mexico 
declared that President Roosevelt had committed himself 
to the merger plan, and at once the hue and cry was raised 
in Arizona of "a New England conspiracy" against the 
power of the West,^* and among the Democrats of a "Re- 
publican conspiracy to annex Arizona to New Mexico."^"* 

10. Bisbee "Review," 12 Aug., 1903. 

11. The Nogales "Oasis," edited by Colonel Bird, was a notable exception. 

12. San Bernardino "Sun," 2 Feb., 1904. 

13. See Tucson "Star," for 5 May, 1904. 

14. Tucson "Citizen," 4 Mar., 1904. 

15. Reference mislaid. 

16 Historical Society of Southern California 

The common council of Phoenix voted to change the name 
of Roosevelt Street to Cleveland Street, the mayor casting 
the only dissenting vote.'" By April, the statehood matter 
was being fought mainly on party lines, the Republicans 
for jointure, the Democrats against. In Arizona the dis- 
cussion waxed vitriolic. The Nogales "Times" adverted 
scornfully to the "asinine wisdom" of the House of Repre- 
sentatives which had passed the merger bill; the Bisbee 
"Review" whistled courageously and declared that "the 
work of the traitorous House will fail of its iniquity;"'^ 
the Tucson "Star" assumed a still more belligerent attitude 
when it said, "The people of Arizona will teach the Wash- 
ington government a lesson."'^ 

In this new crisis, where Arizona was fighting for her 
identity, it did not occur to many Arizonans that their erst- 
while opponent, the Senator from Southern California, 
might be in a position to render them an immense service. 
Nor did it occur to the leaders in business in Los Angeles 
that Arizonans might in time forget the alleged "insults" 
of Senator Bard and be prepared to thank him for his cour- 
ageous friendship in the time of need. Nor were Senator 
Bard's political enemies and rivals likely to neglect so use- 
ful an argument, especially on the approach of the primary 
elections preparatory to the campaign of 1904. A Los 
Angeles dispatch to the San Francisco "Bulletin" of June 
12, 1904, stated that "Los Angeles, being so close to the 
Territory (Arizona), scores of persons here have material 
and other interests in the admission of the Territory, and 
these say they are engaged in a campaign that will not end 
until the result they desire to accomplish is a reality." 
Ventura County being more than likely to declare for Bard 
in the primaries, the campaign was directed against Los 
Angeles County. Tucson and Phoenix merchants sent 
scores of telegrams to Los Angeles and San Francisco busi- 
ness houses, several Arizona papers, among them the Bis- 
bee "Review" and the Florence "Blade," suggested a boy- 
cott of California jobbers, but a few editors argued against 
interference in California politics on the ground, as the 
Arizona "Republican" put it, that "the stubborn junior Sen- 
ator from California" was probably the only Republican 
Senator bold enough to oppose state jointure,'" that "but- 
ting in" was "rather bad taste," for, as the Phoenix "Repub- 
lican" said, "As Chairman of the Committee on Irrigation, 
he has become one of the Territory's most powerful friends 

16. Los Angees "Examiner," 9 Mar., 1904. 

17. Bisbee "Review," 21 Apr., 1904. 

18. Tucson "Star," 22 Apr., 1904. ^ . „ 

19. Tucson "Post," 2 July, 1904; "Daily "Star," 3 July, 1904; Nogales "Oasis," 
3 July, 1904. 

The Arizona-New AIexico Statehood Controversy 17 

in the senate. "-° But the great majority of editors followed 
their quarry loudly and with perseverance until the prim- 
aries were over, Vv^hen it was found that the Flint forces 
were in control of the Los Angeles county delegation. This 
result was naturally ascribed by many Arizonans to their 
intervention in California politics. "Bard is a dead one in 
California," said Major G. H. Kelly, on returning to Ari- 
zona after the primary election, "and Arizona has helped 
in his defeat. "^^ 

When the statehood fight came up again in the short 
session of the 58th Congress, Senator Bard, in a carefully 
prepared speech, argued effectively against the merger to 
an attentive audience; but while he was in the midst of 
this fight, and before he could get back to California to look 
out for his senatorial interests, Mr. Flint was elected to 
succeed him on March 4th. Nevertheless, Mr. Bard kept 
up the fight to the last. In a brilliant and exciting Sena- 
torial parliamentary tussle, which took place on February 
7, 1905, -- Mr. Bard took a prominent part, in which he 
was aided by Gorman, Morgan, Kearns of Utah, Williams 
of Mississippi, and others, and opposed by Beveridge, For- 
aker, Piatt and Spooner. The fortunes of the various appli- 
cants for statehood fluctuated violently during the day, but 
without finally affecting the status of any. But Arizona, 
thanks in great part to Senator Bard's pertinacity, managed 
to remain in a position where she might still be able to 
have her "autonomy guaranteed forever," while her pres- 
ent champion and erst-while reputed foe had in the mean- 
time lost his chance to be re-elected chiefly because of 
Arizona's intervention in California politics. Arizona as 
the "back country" of Los Angeles and San Diego had 
threatened to reduce the coast cities to water-stations, and 
California business men and politicians had labored under 
the assumption — or was it delusion? — that Arizona actu- 
ally had that power and could successfully have exer- 
cised it. 

20. 28 June 1904. 
Douglas "Dispj 
Vliner." 13 Aug., 
See Washington, New York, etc., papers of that date. 

rv,o^^-..^?°"^J?1o"P'^P^innr ^^ Aug., 1904; Tucson "Citizen," same date; King- 
man "Miner. ' 13 Aug., 1904. 


By Corinne King Wright 

The early history of the City of the Queen of Angels 
reads like a melodrama. Its annals record tragedy alter- 
nating with comedy, political intrigues with military blun- 
ders, chivalrous courage with designing cowardice; in fact, 
upon its soil, the roles in a great human drama have been 
played by the Indian, the Californian, the Spaniard, and 
the American. 

At the time of the American occupation there were 
1500 Californians living about the plaza and on the neigh- 
boring ranchos. The city had been under the Mexican 
regime about a quarter of a century when, on July 7, 1846, 
upon the receipt of the news of war with Mexico, Commo- 
dore Sloat, complying with the orders of his government, 
hoisted the Stars and Stripes over Monterey. 

Previous to his action, the Commodore had addressed 
a conciliatory note to the Californians.' This communication 
was well received by the "gente de razon," for after years 
of revolution and friction, the intelligent inhabitants were 
in a receptive mood when promised a stable government 
with local independence. Unfortunately, however, upon 
the arrival of Commodore Stockton, a few days later, the 
ranking officer, owing to ill-health, transferred his com- 
mand and sailed away. The departure of Sloat was the 
signal for an immediate change of policy on the part of his 
successor. Whatever good had been accomplished was 
hastily undone by Stockton in an offensive and untruthful 

Los Angeles was the capital under the regime of Pio 
Pico. It is known that the news of hostilities with Mexico 
had been brought to the Governor by Covarrubias before 
July 3 and that the Mexican officials had sought to meet 
the changed conditions. 

The Californians were far from being a united people. 
There had been for some time a bitter feud between the 
authority as represented by the Comandante of the military 
forces, Jose Castro, and the authority as represented by 
the civil governor. 

Upon the receipt of the proclamation of Commodore 

1. Bancroft, H. H., History of California, V, 231. 


The Conquest of Los Angeles 19 

Sloat, Governor Pico convoked the Assembly, July 24, and 
addressed the members in a patriotic and dignified speech. - 
He buried his animosities toward Castro, who, upon receiv- 
ing a letter from Commodore Sloat inviting a conference, 
had come South to consult with the Governor. 

At this time, only the lower classes showed any hatred 
toward the Yankee invader. The Mexican Government, 
as represented by its officials, had lost both the credit and 
the confidence of the intelligent citizens. 

Judging by contemporary letters, the people were 
apathetic toward the Mexican cause. The well-to-do 
rancheros gave supplies, but not in large quantities; the 
Indians were hostile, and men could not be spared from 
the ranchos; the educated Spaniards and Calif ornians were 
tired of the continual repetition of revolutions and felt that 
a strong government was the only solution of the difficulties 
which beset them. (Juan Bandini and Santiago Arguello 
were two prominent citizens who openly espoused the cause 
of the Americans.) The friction which had long existed 
between the state and military departments was repeated 
in the attitude of the officers and men of the militia who 
refused to serve under the regular officers. General Castro 
in a letter to Don Antonio F. Coronel, urged him to assemble 
his company.^ The Don in his "Cosas de California" tells 
of a conference which lasted all day before the militia men 
consented to serve under General Castro. In all about 100 
militia men were added to the force of 161 regulars whom 
Castro had brought from Monterey to Los Angeles. 

Contrary to the policy of the Government of the 
United States, which contemplated only the occupation of 
the coast towns, and a future conquest of the interior by a 
policy of patience and conciliation — as the belated orders 
from Washington reveal — Commodore Stockton began an 
aggressive policy. Accompanied by Consul Thomas O. 
Larkin, and three hundred fifty troops, the Commodore 
arrived at San Pedro, August 6, and landed the marines 
for drill. 

Mr. Larkin used his influence with the prominent 
Americans who had become Mexican citizens, — among 
them Abel Stearns, — counselling submission on the part of 
the Californians, and inviting communication with the lead- 
ing men of the pueblo. 

2. Coronel Docs. MS. No. 143. 

3. Coronel Docs. MS. No. 245. 

20 Historical Society of Southern California 

Accordingly, two commissioners, Pablo de la Guerra 
and Jose M. Flores, upon the assurance of their personal 
safety, came to San Pedro with a letter from General Castro 
in which the General stated that, "wishing with the Gov- 
ernor to avoid all the disasters that follow a war, it has 
appeared convenient to send to your Excellency to know 
your desires, under the conception that whatever confer- 
ence may take place, it must be on the basis that all hostile 
movements must be suspended."* 

In his report, the Commodore states that, "before, 
however, they could communicate the extent of their power, 
or the nature of their instructions, they made a preliminary 
demand that the further march of the troops must be ar- 
rested, and that I must not march beyond the position I 
then occupied. This proposition was peremptorily de- 
clined; I announced my intention to advance; and the com- 
missioners returned to their camp without imparting fur- 
ther the object of the proposed negotiations." 

Stockton seems to have been impressed by the fear 
that a truce would have enabled the Californians to or- 
ganize, and to exterminate the American settlers. Again 
the government of the United States was thwarted in its 
designs by a blundering officer. 

On August 9, after the return of the disheartened com- 
missioners to the Campo de la Mesa, Castro held a con- 
ference with his officers and determined to leave California. 
He wrote to the Governor to this effect: "After having done 
all in my power to prepare for the defense of the depart- 
ment, and to oppose the invasion of the United States 
forces — I am obliged to make known to you that it is not 
possible to accomplish either object, because, notwithstand- 
ing your efforts to afford me all the aid in your power, 
I can count on only 100 men, badly armed, worse supplied, 
and discontented by reason of the misery they suffer." 

Upon the receipt of Gen. Castro's letter and accom- 
panying documents, Pio Pico once more addressed the As- 
sembly on the 10th of August. He admitted the hopeless- 
ness of their cause, and proposed the dissolution of the 
Assembly that the enemy might find none of the depart- 
mental officers in authority. The Governor issued his fare- 
well address to the people. He stated that between 
"ignominy and emigration" he would choose the latter. 
The two chiefs did not go together. The Governor re- 
mained in retirement at the rancho of his brother-in-law, 
John Forster, near San Juan Capistrano for a month before 
leaving Alta California. 

4. Coronel Docs. MS. No. 174. 

The Conquest of Los Angeles 21 

After the return of the commissioners, Flores and De 
la Guerra, Consul Larkin was sent to Los Angeles. He 
reported the flight of the Comandante ; Governor Stockton, 
with his marines, on August 11 began the march to Los 
Angeles. They encamped the first night at Temple's 
rancho, and made a juncture the following day with the 
forces of Fremont who had come from San Diego. With 
a full band of music, four quarter deck guns mounted on 
sorry looking horses, and the privates on foot, the Ameri- 
cans marched around the Plaza and established head- 
quarters in adobe buildings on the south side where the St. 
Charles Hotel now stands. The Californians watched them 
from the oak-fringed hills, but later in the day, yielding to 
the potent spell of music, gathered about the Plaza to 
listen to a concert that was furnished by the band. This 
was the first conquest of Los Angeles by the Americans. 

Fremont and Stockton left the pueblo September 2; 
the latter going to Monterey by sea ; the former, with forty 
men, by land. Before leaving the officers had received by 
carrier from the warship "Warren" definite news of the 
declaration of war with Mexico with orders to occupy the 
sea-coast towns, and to send news of the local conditions by 
courier. Lieutenant Gillespie was appointed commander 
of the Southern Department to enforce the regulations 
made by his chief and to appoint such civil officers as were 

The police regulations prescribed by Stockton were 
unwise and showed a regrettable ignorance of the proud 
people he presumed to govern. Gillespie was a fine officer 
and should not be held responsible for the resulting fiasco. 
In brief, he was to maintain martial law; enforce the 
observation of the proclamation of the 17th, and allow only 
those known to be friendly — upon a written permit — to be 
out before sunrise or after sunset, or to carry weapons. 

Serbulo Verela, a Sonoran, in company with a score 
of his friends made an attack upon the adobe structure on 
the south side of the Plaza where Gillespie and his men 
were quartered. The assault was not a very serious matter 
in itself, but it was the torch that started the conflagration. 
Verela gathered a force of 300 men; Gen. Castro's veterans 
broke their parole and assumed command. Captain Jose 
Flores, who was a very able man, was made Comandante; 
Antonio Carrillo and Andreas Pico were assigned second 
in command. 

Government by pronunciamento had been the fashion 
on both sides for some months, but it remained for Verela 
to issue this notable one: 

22 Historical Society of Southern California 

"Citizens: — 

"For a month and a half, by a lamentable fatality resulting from 
the cowardice and incompetence of the Department's chief authorities, 
we see ourselves subjugated and oppressed by an insignificant force of 
adventurers from the U. S. of N. America, who, putting us in a worse 
condition than that of slaves, are dictating to us despotic and arbitrary 
laws; by which, loading us with contributions and onerous taxes, they 
wish to destroy our industries and agriculture, and compel us to aban- 
don our property, to be taken and divided among themselves. And shall 
we be capable of permitting ourselves to be subjugated, and to accept 
in silence the heavy shame of slaves? Shall we lose the soil inherited 
from our fathers, which cost them so much blood? Shall we leave our 
families victims of the most barbarous servitude? Shall we wait to see 
our wives violated, our children beaten by the American whip, our 
property sacked, our temples profaned, to drag out a life of shame and 
disgrace? No! a thousand times no! compatriots!" 

Verela's fears and fiery eloquence are not to be dis- 
counted in their effect upon the populace. 

Commodore Stockton had anticipated a possible return 
of Castro with re-inforcements from Mexico, and had in- 
structed a score of Americans to guard the San Bernardino 
frontier against this danger. On September 26-27, Flores 
sent Verela with fifty men to join forces with Jose del 
Carmen marching from the east, to rout the Americans 
at Chino. The Americans had assembled at an adobe ranch 
house. The Californians succeeded in getting under the 
walls of the house. Neither side had much ammunition. 
After a sharp demonstration the Americans surrendered 
and were taken prisoners to the camp of Gen. Flores just 
outside of Los Angeles. 

The entire Californian forces now threatening Gilles- 
pie in Los Angeles, he retired for a stand on the hill to the 
west of the pueblo afterward known as Fort Hill or Ft. 
Moore. Gen. Flores called on the American lieutenant to 
surrender, pointing out that the situation was hopeless and 
that resistance would be an unnecessary loss of human life. 
He oft'ered to allow the Americans to depart with their 
colors and all the honors of war. Flores also suggested an 
exchange of prisoners. These magnanimous terms the 
Americans finally accepted and marched to San Pedro, ac- 
companied by a few American families. Gillespie had dis- 
patched a courier, Juan "Flaco," (John Brown) to Stockton 
at San Francisco for re-enforcements. The courier rode 
the entire distance in six days! The Commodore received 
the message on September 30th, and dispatched Captain 
Mervine with three hundred men to join Gillespie. The 
troops arrived on the 6th of October. 

Two days later, the boats were manned at six o'clock 
in the morning and the men marched toward Los Angeles. 
There are many versions of the battle which ensued. We 
have no official reports from either side. Lieut. Duval, an 

The Conquest of Los Angeles 23 

officer with Capt. Mervine, wrote an account of the engage- 
ment in a letter to his family, which is in the possession of 
Dr. J. E. Cowles of this city; and Don Antonio Coronel, an 
aide-de-camp of Gen. Flores, has also given an account of 
it. The Americans marched all day through plains of dry, 
wild mustard grown six to eight feet high. The enemy 
retreated before them until sundown, when they formed 
on a hill nearby. The American Marines under Captain 
Marston, the Colt's Riflemen under Captain Carter, and 
the Volunteers under Gillespie charged the Californians, 
who, fortified by a small cannon strapped to a diminutive 
wagon on wheels, would fire, drag back the piece by their 
reatas, ride out of rifle-range, and reload. At six o'clock 
the next morning the two forces again met. The Cali- 
fornians were armed with lance and carbines, and with 
the little cannon pursued the tactics of the previous day. 
The Americans tried in vain to capture the gun that had 
killed four of their number and wounded six. Believing 
further effort useless, they returned to San Pedro to bury 
their dead on Dead Man's Island — and the Battle of Do- 
minguez Rancho was history. 

Had the Americans but known the sorry plight of their 
opponents the conquest would have been complete in a 
few hours, but the "Old Woman's gun," (so-called because 
it had been dug up from the garden of Innocencia Reyes, 
who had buried it on the first approach of Stockton to the 
pueblo), had multiplied itself too well. 

During the remainder of the month, the Californians 
remained at Temple Rancho, "Los Cerritos," and at "Palos 
Verdes," the rancho of Sulpulevda, near San Pedro. Upon 
the arrival of Stockton at San Pedro, October 19, the same 
tactics of deception were used by the Californians. Larger 
droves of loose horses were driven in sight of the enemy. 
Several days were spent in skirmishes which the Califor- 
nians designate as the Battle of the Mesa, but of which 
there are no official accounts by the American officers. 
Stockton, believing that the Californians had at least 800 
calvarymen, decided to embark for San Diego, and effect 
a junction with the forces of General Kearny, who was 
expected to arrive over the Santa Fe trail. 

In the meantime. Gen. Flores was attempting to direct 
affairs in Los Angeles. He commissioned Lieut. Antonio F. 
Coronel to proceed to the City of Mexico via Sonora for 
funds and supplies. The young officer carried the flag 
captured at San Pedro to convince the Mexican Govern- 
ment that the Californians were amply able to defend them- 
selves if assisted at this critical period. On approaching 

24 Historical Society of Southern California 

the Colorado crossing, however, he heard of Kearny's 
forces approaching from the east. Dispatching a courier, 
Felipe Castillo, to Sonora with his messages, Coronel re- 
treated to Temecula, escaping capture through the friendly- 
offices of an Indian. 

After the disastrous engagement of Kearny's men with 
the cavalry of Andres Pico at San Pasqual, the Americans 
recuperated at San Diego. On the first of January, 1847, 
the combined forces of Com. Stockton and Gen. Kearny 
started for Los Angeles. The men were poorly clothed, 
the animals poor and weak, the roads rough and heavy, 
the weather cold, but according to official reports, "the 
men went through the whole march of one hundred and 
forty miles with alacrity and cheerfulness." They en- 
camped at Los Flores, San Luis Rey, San Juan Capistrano, 
and at the Rancho Los Coyotes, which is adjacent to the 
present town of Norwalk. From Los Coyotes, the men 
came down through Los Nietos to "The Narrows," the pass 
between Potrero Heights on the one side and La Puente 
hills on the other, — the natural floodgate of the San Gabriel 
River. Here the Americans found the Californians await- 
ing them upon the bluff, armed with lances and supported 
by nine field pieces, the largest number of cannon which 
the Californians had during the entire trouble. The powder 
had been manufactured at the San Gabriel Mission, and 
was of the most inferior quality, either by accident, or by 
design, as was charged in some quarters, for the Spanish 
priests at the Mission were not in sympathy with the 

This battleground has been located at various points 
by different historians,'* but the writer is confident from the 
testimony of Mr. Walter Temple and others, and more par- 
ticularly by the mute witnesses that have been unearthed 
during 1914, that the battle was fought as described. On 
the ranch of Edward L. Lieber, grape shot and small can- 
non balls are not infrenquently upturned by the plow; while 
the two copper and one brass cannon, which were unearthed 
by Mr. Poyorena and companions in 1914 in the Eaton Wash 
about a mile east of the Mission, show that the battle must 
have been fought not far from that vicinity. 

After an engagement lasting about an hour and a half, 
the Californians retreated in good order; the greater num- 
ber retiring to the Verdugo Rancho. The two American 
officers continued their triumphant march to Los Angeles. 
Four field pieces and the "Old Woman's Gun" were there 

5. See Bancroft, History of California, Vol. V; Willard, History of Los 
Angeles, p. 225. 

The Conquest of Los Angeles 25 

surrendered and the little city became American. It re- 
mained the seat of government, however, only a few 
months, when the archives were removed to Monterey. 

By a singular co-incidence, it was Lieut. Fremont and 
not Commodore Stockton who signed the final terms of 
surrender and amnesty at Cahuenga that closed the opera- 
tions in the south, and reconciled many Californians to 
the new regime. The pastoral period was closed, and 
a new period of progress and industrial expansion was 


By Lucile E. Dickson 

There is little in the present appearance of the pros- 
perous city of Anaheim, with its population of nearly six 
thousand, its paved streets and modern buildings, to sug- 
gest the history of its founding. 

The names of German extraction appearing on busi- 
ness signs, the old, deserted winery^ half-hidden among 
orange or walnut trees, suggest a page of more than ordi- 
nary historical interest, an episode in the history of land 
colonization in California. 

The scheme planned by a group of Germans living in 
San Francisco was of peculiar interest in some respects, 
and with the exception of a Mormon colony in San Bernar- 
dino County resulted in the first successful experiment of the 
kind in the State of California. 

In 1855 Otto Weyse, Editor of the "Democrat" in San 
Francisco, George Hansen, a civil engineer, and John Froh- 
ling, business man, met in Los Angeles and discussed plans 
for buying land, planting it in vines and establishing a 
German colony. 

They secured three wagons, each drawn by two mules; 
engaged a cook, a scout and a game hunter and started 
to "spy out the land in search for a suitable site."^ For 
three weeks they went from place to place; surveyed for 
the proper slope for drainage, analyzed the soil to make 
sure that it was free from alkali, and adapted to the culti- 
vation of fruit; considered climatic conditions and proper 
distance from the sea. 

The choice of the site was left to Mr. Hansen, who 
finally selected a tract of 1165 acres in Los Angeles County. 

For forty years after the State was divided into coun- 
ties Los Angeles County included the territory that is now 
Orange County, and up to 1868 this territory was held 
largely in great ranchos. One of the great land owners of 
Southern California in the early days was Don Bernardo 
Yorba. His possessions covered miles of what was then 
Los Angeles County. A part of one of his ranchos, known 

1. An interesting sight is that of the old homestead and winery of the 
Koenig estate on Los Angeles Street near the Southern Pacific Station, owned 
by Mrs. Koenig Schulte. 

2. Prom an account by Mrs. John Frohling. 


Founding and Early History of Anaheim, California 27 

as the San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana, he sold to Don Pacifico 
Onteveras, and it was this tract, midway between the foot- 
hills and the sea, in the center of the present Orange 
County, that was selected for the vineyard. It was situ- 
ated twenty-eight miles southeast of Los Angeles and about 
three miles from the Santa Ana river. 

The home of Don Yorba was only five miles away and 
he took a great interest in the enterprise, perhaps due to 
the fact that his son-in-law August Langenberger was Ger- 
man.^ The Don granted many privileges later to the col- 
onists. The Los Angeles "Star" of January 30, 1858, says, 
"Anaheim truly owes a debt of gratitude to the Yorba 

Hansen purchased the land for about $2.00 an acre. 
The exact amount mentioned in the deed* is $2,330.00. Don 
Onteveras, being unable to write signed his mark "X." The 
deed includes the right of way over a strip of land twelve 
varas (about 32 ft.) wide for a ditch to "run as directly as 
the nature of the soil and conformation of the ground will 

Hansen was given the task of surveying and laying 
out the tract, and was to superintend the planting and 
care of the vines. An auditing committee in Los Angeles 
was to manage the business affairs here while Weyse and 
Frohling went forth to interest certain Germans in becom- 
ing shareholders in the Los Angeles Vineyard Company. 

August Langenberger was the first to sign the con- 
tract, and soon there followed 49 others.^ 

The officers of the Society were: trustees, John Froh- 
ling and George Hansen; president, Otman Caler; vice 
president, Chas. Kohler; and an execute body of nine. (See 
names with * in list of shareholders.) 

The stockholders remained in San Francisco until the 
land was ready for occupancy, but they met from time to 
time during the interval to pay assessments for develop- 

3. Another son-in-law of Don Yorba was Benjamin Davis Wilson who came 

with a company to California in 1841 and purchased the Jurupa rancho, where 
Riverside now stands. 

4. The deeds recorded in the transaction are as follows: Sept. 1, 1857, Don 
Yorba and wife to J. P. Onteveras; Sept. 12, 1857, J. P. Onteveras to John Froh- 
ling and George Hansen; Oct. 5, 1857, John Frohling and George Hansen to 
Trustees of Los Angeles Vineyard Co. 

5. From Mrs. Frohling' s manuscript: 




Von KUlpen 
















Hartmann • 

Luedcke • 

Fischer • 






Kuchel • 






Shenk • 






Cramer ♦ 




Bach • 

Stapenbeck Beythien 

* Lutgens 


28 Historical Society of Southern California 

ment, to hear reports, and to discuss their plan to develop 
the largest vineyard in the world. 

At one of these meetings following a suggestion by- 
Mr. T. E. Schmidt they decided by vote to name their com- 
munity Anaheim, in view of the fact that they were to 
have a home near the Santa Ana.^ 

The San Francisco "Bulletin" of March 25, 1857, quotes 
H. D. Barrows on the enterprise as follows: "There is talk 
of planting out, by a company of Germans, a large vine- 
yard of 1500 acres, either on the Santa Ana or San Gabriel."^ 
In the September 19, 1857, issue of "The News" is found, "A 
company is actually formed under the direction of a Presi- 
dent and Board of Trustees." In "The Alta" of January 
15, 1858, the matter of a name for the "German Vineyard" 
is discussed. 

The planting and superintendence of the cultivation 
of the vines was the next of Hansen's tasks. He was a 
man of more than usual intellectual ability. He came to 
California in 1850 via Cape Horn and Peru. Mr. Barrows 
says of him,® "The story of his life is found in the records 
of land titles in Los Angeles County. He made more sur- 
veys than any other man. His maps are of untold value." 

To the Los Angeles Vineyard Company he gave his 
best efforts.^ The land was a sandy waste, growing only 
cactus and castor beans. Fifty Indians were employed and 
a great ditch or "zanja" seven miles long was dug to bring 
water from the Santa Ana river. Then the property was 
subdivided and lateral ditches carried water to the various 
lots. There were in all more than 450 miles of ditches. ^° 

Great care was taken in laying out the land. There 
were 50 twenty-acre lots, one for each shareholder. Eight 
acres of each lot were planted in grapes^' and twelve acres 
set aside for pasturage, fruit trees and general agricultural 
purposes. Almond, walnut, fig, orange and lemon trees 
were planted. 

6. It has been claimed that it was so named in honor of a child of one of the 
stockholders who was called Anna, but the above account is vouched for by 
Mrs. Frohling, and I find in the Dec. 2, 1S70, issue of the "Gazette" a similar 
account. It is true, however, that the first child born in Anaheim, the daughter 
of Mr. and Mrs. Fischer, was called Anna in honor of the town. She is now 
Mrs. Dufrees of Los Angeles. 

7. NewTnark, Sixty Years in California. 

8. Barrows, Two Notable Pioneers. Hist. Soc. Pub. 1897. 

9. In the "Southern Californian" of July 20, 1872, W. Jenkins, Under Sheriff 
for Los Angeles County in 1857, writes: "Mr. Hansen was greatly Interested in 
the enterprise, so much so he forgot to appear In court when subpoenaed for a 
witness, and I had to go to the tract with an attachment for him. While there, 
I saw the first stake struck and the first tent pitched on the present site of 

10. A detailed description of these irrigating ditches is found in the Los 
Angeles "Star," Jan. 30, 1858. 

11. Many of the cuttings were from the vineyard of Wm. Wolfskill. They 
included wine, raisin and table grapes. There were planted nearly 1000 to the 

Founding and Early History of Anaheim, California 29 

A town lot was assigned to each stockholder for resi- 
dence property and 14 lots were set apart for public pur- 
poses as the colony might require. A park, school house 
and assembly hall were mentioned in the original plan. 
The first real town hall was built in 1872 on a lot presented 
by Jacob Keller/- 

The entire site was fenced with live willow cuttings^' 
eight feet high and placed at intervals of two feet. Bars 
were woven laterally giving the appearance of a stockade. 

These willow poles took root and thus a living fence 
enclosed the tract, a feature that created much comment 
for miles around. 

Inside were six streets running north and south ; Los 
Angeles, Orange, Lemon, Olive, Palm, and Citron; while 
outside the fence were East and West streets. Three ran 
east and west; Sycamore, Center and Santa Ana, with 
North and South streets outside. Los Angeles and Center 
were the main avenues, and where they met the willow 
fence the four great gates to the colony were placed. These 
were as follows: Los Angeles gate at the north and Santa 
Ana gate at the south end of Los Angeles Street; San Pedro 
gate at the west and San Diego gate at the east end of Center 
Street. The roads leading out from these gates were the 
only ones then open for travel. 

"Campo Aleman," as the natives called it, prospered, 
and in November of 1859, only two years from the time he 
took charge. Superintendent Hansen reported to the execu- 
tive council that their plans had been carried out at an 
expense of $60,000 ; that the vines were thrifty, and the 
tract ready for the stockholders to take possession. 

Then followed an unusual plan for the division of the 
property. The stockholders had invested equal amounts, 
but it was conceded that the lots were of unequal value. 
They agreed to draw for the lots.^* The lots were valued 
at from $600 to $1400, according to situation. If a man drew 
a lot worth over $1200 he paid the difference in cash; if 
he drew a lot worth less than $1200 he received the cash 
difference. Each then received a deed for his land from 
the Vineyard Company. 

These pioneers, thrifty, industrious, home-loving, ar- 
rived at their destination in December, 1859. Of all the 
trades and professions represented not one was a farmer 

12. No provision was made for a church. A low adobe building, 40 ft. x 26 ft., 
was built for a school and assembly hall. It first served as sleeping quarters for 
the Indian laborers Was ruined by the flood of 1861-2. 

13. Newmark estimates that fully 50,000 were used. p. 212. 

14. The father of Editor Kiichel of the "Gazette" drew the lot on which the 
plant now stands. 

30 Historical Society of Southern California 

and only one knew anything about wine making. Included 
in their number were three carpenters, four blacksmiths, 
three watchmakers, three merchants, and one each of 
brewer, engraver, shoemaker, miller, book-binder, poet, 
hatter, musician and teacher.^" 

The first to arrive were Mr. and Mrs. Philip Hammea, 
their two daughters, and Mr. and Mrs. Behm.^« They ar- 
rived on the Steamer "Senator" in the harbor of San Pedro, 
September 12, 1859. A small steamer carried them from 
the "Senator" to the nearest point it could enter, and it an- 
chored there, while Indians waded out from the land and 
placed each passenger on his shoulders; "and thus," says 
Mrs. Frohling, "we were carried like babies to terra firma." 

The next day they were taken by wagon to their new 
home. In driving from Los Angeles to Anaheim they 
passed but one house, called "The Coyote", where one might 
rest and have refreshment.'' 

The pioneers found conveniences that a single settler 
must have waited years to obtain. Five buildings were in 
use; the adobe building before mentioned, a store belong- 
ing to August Langenberger, the residence and office of 
George Hansen, and a shed used for a butcher shop. 

Every two weeks the steamer arrived, gradually bring- 
ing the remainder of the stockholders, and soon the build- 
ing of homes began. '^ The lumber was brought from San 
Francisco by steamer and smaller things from Los Angeles 
by stage. 

Indians were employed as laborers. According to 
Mr. Kroger, who came in 1860, the first were Yaquis who 
had come up from Mexico. They were good workers and 
could be trusted when well treated. Late in 1860 they 
all disappeared as if by magic and it was learned later 
that a messenger had come from Mexico and summoned 
them home to go on the war path against the Mexicans. 

This complicated the labor problem, for the California 
Indians did not prove efficient workers. They were slow 
and had to be watched constantly. The best help obtain- 
able was that given by the Indians from the Pala reserva- 
tion that came in the grape picking season. 

Unfriendly Indians often made trouble. It was not 

15. From manuscript of Mrs. Frohling. 

16. As told by Mrs. Frohling. . ^ , „. , . 

17. This was an ancient house on the rancho of Don Abel Stearns, and here 
"Coyote John," a mayordomo, lived. He had long before deserted the ship on 
which he had sailed from Peru, and became a sheepherder. Many in Anaheim 
today remember the venerable Indian as a most interesting character. 

18. One of the first was that of Benjamin Dreyfus. Soon thereafter the resi- 
dence of Mr. Hammes was rushed to completion by five carpenters from Los 

Founding and Early History of Anaheim, California 31 

unusual to hear the alarm that called the men out with 
shot guns to protect their property. 

During these first years life was a struggle against 
foes without and within the willow fence. Outside, in 
addition to the Indians were the wild cattle that roamed 
over the almost barren land.'® In times of drouth thousands 
of them would gather about the willow fence and some- 
times, crazed by thirst, would break through and menace 
the safety of the colonists. At such times the only recourse 
was to shoot the cattle. Mr. Kroger tells of seeing dozens 
shot in one day and adds that Don Abel never complained 
of his loss. To guard against these onslaughts, ditches 
were dug outside the fence, at some places thorn shrubs 
were planted and when rains were infrequent a mounted 
guard was placed outside. 

Sometimes the floods came. In the winter of 1861-62 
the rain fell almost steadily for a month. ^^ Vineyards were 
half ruined with layers of sand that washed over them; 
water ran four feet deep in the streets; great trees came 
down from the mountains. It was dangerous to venture 
out and some people were carried away by the force of the 
waters. 2' 

Then there was the constant fight against the squirrels, 
gophers, hawks and coyotes; and in 1863 the grasshoppers 
caused great destruction. 

But improvements came. Because the California In- 
dians were so unsatisfactory as laborers some Chinese were 
brought down from San Francisco. Thirty of them came 
and each was given a town lot. They proved to be good 
farmers, were industrious, sober, clean, peaceful and in 
every way a welcome contrast to the Indians. 

With all their trials, the pioneers were not discouraged. 
Gradually better conditions obtained and the desert truly 
blossomed as the rose. At the end of ten years time the 
property that had cost on an average of $1080 was worth at 
Mr. Guinn's estimate not less than $5,000, and in many cases 

Anaheim township was created December 17, 1860, out 
of Santa Ana township, and its fame spread even to far 

An outside enterprise of the colonists attracted atten- 
tion. In the early sixties the pioneers established the 

19. Most of these belonged to Don Abel Stearns and came from his famous 
rancho Los Coyotes. 

20. Newmark, 60 years In California, p. 451. 

21. Mr. Kuchels tells how, after the flood a man was missing, and long after, 
down near the ocean, the glitter of a gold watch attracted attention of a passer- 
by and the body was found miles away, buried in the sand. 

22. Guinn, Historical Record, 480. 

32 Historical Society of Southern California 

"Anaheim Lighter Company."" Each was assessed to 
build a wharf, warehouse and lighter at Anaheim Land- 
ing. Frederich Schneider was president of the company, 
Mr. Halberstadt acted as superintendent and Max Nebel- 
ung, then a young man, as freight clerk. A road, 12 miles 
in length, was cleared to the Landing. This proved a great 
boon to the surrounding country as well as to Anaheim. 
From here were shipped wine, corn, wool and other prod- 
ucts. Freight was delivered from the landing bound for 
Salt Lake City. It was taken by teams and wagon to San 
Bernardino and by pack mules from there to its destination. 

There were usually two Coast steamers a week and 
occasionally a Panama steamer called. Three lighters each 
of 80-ton capacity were taken to and from the steamer by 
cable, one end of which was fastened at the warehouse and 
the other anchored near where the steamer would stop. 
Eight or ten men pulled the cable, giving freight and humans 
an interesting but rather perilous ride.-* A record from 
1872 shows that 30 or 40 teams made the trip daily from 
the Landing,-^ and one day's report gives 70 teams. 

Home seekers, attracted by the prosperity of the col- 
onists, settled on adjacent property, some to the north but 
mainly to the south and southwest. 

Richard Melrose, a young soldier from Wilmington 
Drum Barracks, was, with some others, hunting deserters 
when, in riding across the plains, they came in sight of 
Anaheim. What a beauty spot it seemed! Green vines, 
surrounded by a living wall of willows; the air redolent 
with the fragrance of grape blossoms. It seemed to him 
the choice of all places for a home.^® 

The Germans looked with indifference on the coming 
of the "outsiders," treated them with kindness, but it was 
difficult to buy any of the land from the pioneers. They 
were content; no poor were among them. As late as 1872 
one only of the original stockholders had moved away." 

There was a gradual blending of the interests of the 
newcomers and the pioneers, and February 10, 1870, an act 
for the incorporation of Anaheim as a city was approved by 

23. Facts given by Mr. Max Nebelung. 

24. Mr. Nebelung's account. 

25. In 1871 the Senate was petitioned for an appropriation for Improvementa 
at the Landing, but Wilmington's plea was answered instead. 

26. Later Anaheim became his home and the name of Richard Melrose Is 
connected with every step in the progress of the city eince that time as editor, 
lawyer and esteemed citizen. 

27. See Appendix. 

Founding and Early History of Anaheim, California 33 

the Legislature.''* Max Strobel became its first mayor, John 
Fischer, president and F. W. Kuelph, city clerk. =^® 

The seventies were years full of interest and progress. ^° 
October 29, 1870 the first number of the newspaper "The 
Gazette" was issued. The paper was established by George 
W. Barter, who bought in Los Angeles a press that had come 
around the Horn. The editor came from the San Francisco 
"Bulletin" office and was later connected with the Los 
Angeles "Star."'^^ "The Gazette" has an unbroken history 
to this day, being the second oldest paper now published in 
the county.^-. 

One of the first fights made by the "Gazette" was for 
new township lines. ^^ This fight for a division of Los An- 
geles County was hard and long. It began in 1869. Ana- 
heim had become the business center of the county between 
the San Gabriel and Santa Ana rivers. At the opening of 
the Legislature of 1869-70 Anaheim sent a representative, 
Major Max Von Strobel, to Sacramento to present their 
claims. The Major had been a leader in promoting the 
idea and wanted the new County called Anaheim. 

The scheme was to cut oft" an area of 1,000 square 
miles from the southeast portion of the County to form a 
new one. Major Strobel drew up the bill with the aid of 
Wm. Workman of Puente and Ben Dreyfus and August 
Langenberger of Anaheim, and then, "armed with petitions 
and abundantly supplied with coin, Major Strobel went to 

The arguments for division were strong. In Decem- 
ber, 1870, the population of the county was 20,000, and 
10,000 souls lived South of the San Gabriel. The distance 
to be traveled by these latter people to the County seat was 
great and made it an expense of from six to twenty dollars. 
Of the tv/o million dollars in taxes collected up to 1871 not 
over one thousand, it was claimed, ^^ had been spent for 
public purposes in the southern part of the county. Roads 

28. Data compiled by E. B. Merritt, City Clerk. Charter revoked by act of 
Legislature March 7, 1872, on petition of citizens. Aut;ust l.aii;unl)erg:er, Theo. 
Rimpau and Tlieo. Reiser appointed Commissioners to .■^i ttl.' ;uiil adjust mat'ers. 
Town of Anaheim incorporated December 6, 1876 by Bi-ard of Supervisors, and 
on March 18, 1878, bv Act of Legislature. Reorganizaliun as city of cith class, 
1888 with population of 400. 

29. Mr. Kuelph was Anaheim's first school teacher. 

30. See Appendix. 

31. In this issue apologies are made for its non-appearance the 22nd, as 
promised. A "drunken printer" is given the blame. 

32. Following Mr. Barter as editors were Chas. Gardner, Richard Melrose, 
H. Kuechel. 

33. In the issue of Oct. 31, 1870, is: "We hope the fossilized, old reprobates 
composing the Board of Supervisors will wipe their specs and carefully read 
our petition before consigning It to the waste basket." 

34. Guinn in Pub. of Hist. Soc, 1888-9, gives graphic description of his trip 
and return when defeated. 

35. Wm. R. Olden in "Gazette," Dec. 10, 1871. 

34 Historical Society of Southern California 

were bad and bandits^" were often encountered by citizens 
going to Los Angeles with money for taxes or to meet 
business obligations. 

Mr. Strobel succeeded in putting a bill through the 
Assembly, but it met opposition by Los Angeles in the Senate 
and was defeated there. It was not valid argument but 
money that caused its defeat.^' 

Bitterly disappointed, Major Strobel returned to Ana- 
heim. A convention was called July 15, 1871, to devise 
plans for carrying the division scheme into effect. Feelings 
ran high. Every candidate ,for any office in the county 
had to come out "for or against division." 

A bill was introduced in 1878 to create a County of 
Santa Ana with Anaheim as the seat of government. It 
too was defeated. Another attempt in 1881 found Ana- 
heim and Santa Ana rivals for the county seat, and not 
until twenty years after the movement was inaugurated 
did the final struggle take place. By that time the valiant 
Major who had given to the cause such splendid effort, 
was no more. 

Another vital question in the seventies was the rail- 
road. In the "Gazette," November 12, 1870, we read, "The 
Pacific Kailway has proved a great agency for comfort 
and convenience. Its swift transit has brought many a 
traveler from his old home in the older states to the Golden 
Gate in the short space of two weeks. Anaheim needs a 

In the issue of March 20, 1871 : "The Southern Pacific 
railway bill has passed and much anxiety is felt as to the 
course it will take through Southern California." When in 
1872 the road was to be constructed to Los Angeles, Wm. 
R. Olden went to San Francisco with men from Los Angeles 
to discuss terms with the company. It was agreed at that 
time to build a branch line to Anaheim, and in the winter 
of 1873-4 the work actually began. 

In January, 1875 the first run was made from Los 
Angeles to Anaheim and the Anaheim paper waxes en- 
thusiastic : "With this system in operation there is assured 
a Paradise of wealth and refinement in Southern California. 
All praise to God, who has, after years of frowning, smiled 
upon our land with an exceeding gracious smile." 

In 1869 a frame school house was built on Center 
Street to replace the pioneer adobe building destroyed by 
the flood of 1862. As teacher to this school came a young 

36. See p. 23. Note 2. 

37. Guinn in 1888-9 Pub. of Hist. Soc, gives a graphic description of Strobers 
trip and return wlien defeated. 

Founding and Early History of Anaheim, California 35 

farmer, J. M. Guinn.^* Under his supervision the schools 
attained a position second to none in the county.^" Here 
was offered the first high school course. For twelve years 
Mr. Guinn was principal of the schools, and it is in terms 
of sincere respect and affection that settlers speak of him 

Before leaving the seventies mention should be made 
of the Polish colonists — who came to Anaheim in 1876. 
The plan for a colony in California was conceived by Count 
Bizenta Chlapowski, the husband of Helena Modjeska. The 
project was received by some of their friends with enthusi- 
asm, and that most distinguished painter and author, Henry 
Sienkiewicz, with a companion, came on to select a spot 
for the interesting experiment. They selected Anaheim 
because of the mild climate and because of the Germans 
there, for the members of the party spoke German but no 

The reports of Sienkiewicz were most encouraging and 
Modjeska writes, "How happy we were! Visions of free- 
dom, peace and happiness filled our brains." *° On their 
arrival the disappointment of Modjeska was great. The 
failure of the colony is explained by the old settlers as due 
to the fact that the Polish people did not know how to man- 
age or work. As one pioneer said, "They expected to plant 
t-heir trees and crops and then sit in their hammocks on the 
veranda, smoke cigarettes and watch things grow." 

These newcomers mingled but little with the people 
of Anaheim, but those who knew them grew very fond of 
them.*^ Sienkiewicz was popular, and while mingling with 
the people here found some of his best characters for later 
works.*" Mr. Nebelung "bunked" with him for two weeks 
at the Landing and spoke of him as a fine man and "good 

38. A most interesting character was Tiburcia Vascas, bandit. In the early 
'70's he was head of a sheep-shearing gang at Mitchell's ranch, but found life 
as a bandit yielded greater cash returns. Any friend of Mr. Mitchell's, how- 
ever, need ever fear his "gang." Mr. Melrose vouches for the following tale: 
One evening Vascas went to a ranch house and learned from the woman that 
her husband was away and that bankers were coming the next day to collect 
mortgage money which she had not. Vascas gave her sufficient money to pay 
them and the next day waited in a ravine which the bankers must pass through 
on their return. The won. an paid off the mortgage, and needless to say Vascas 
did not lose his money. 

39. The old settlers at Anaheim pronounce the name "Glnn." 

40. In the files of the "Gazette" are found reports made by Mr. Guinn. 
Here are the "marks" made in school by some of the well-known men of Los 
Angeles County: Edward Rimpau, 100; Henry Kiichel, 100; Joe Langenberger, 
98; Frank Rimpau, 9S; Edward Schmidt, 97, etc. 

41. Modjeska, Memoirs and Impressions, p. 249. 

42. Mr. Henry Kiichel remembers Modjeska as a most kindly and charming 
woman; handsome and with a rich, melodious voice; that she spoke English 
well when he knew her, with just enough accent to give charm. Her home 
stood where the Anaheim High School now stands. 

43. Mr. Melrose says the nearest "the boys" could come to the pronuncia- 
tion was "sane cabbage." 

36 Historical Society of Southern California 

With the eighties came the blight. For twenty-five 
years Anaheim was the greatest wine producing district in 
California. Then came the mysterious disease, in 1881, that 
attacked the vines, (at this time estimated at two million) 
and in five years practically all were dead. 

Professor Newton B. Pierce came from Washington, 
D. C, to study the blight, but he, like many others, was un- 
able to stay its ravages and the dream of 1856 was ended.^^ 
The live willow fence had long since disappeared, and now 
the vineyards were many of them cut up into small tracts 
by Los Angeles promoters. Some were planted in oranges 
or walnuts. 

Of the original stockholders not one remains; of the 
original company one only, Mrs. John Frohling, But Ana- 
heim did not die with its vineyards. Today the new Anaheim 
is having the most rapid period of growth in its history and 
is now the second largest city of Santa Ana County, in the 
very heart of the orange and walnut district. 

44. Mr. Nebelung- says: "He spent much time writing for Eastern and 
European papers and magazines. One day when I returned from work he 
flourished a folded paper, saying: "Did you know Max, that you and I have 
been all day in the San Jacinto mountains hunting bear?" And added, with a 
laugh: "And we had great success, too." 

Max Von Strobel 
had an eventful career before coming to California. He was intimately 
connected with Carl Schurz in the German revolution of 1848; he took an 
active part in Walker's expedition to Nicaragua. After 1859 his wonderful 
energy and generalship were used to promote schemes for the good of 
Anaheim. The one nearest his heart was "county division." Backed by 
San Francisco capital, he promoted the first oil well bored in this part of 
the country. Forty-five years later, in almost the exact spot in La Brea 
canon, the "Murphy gusher" proved worth millions. Later in life he 
attacked another great enterprise, the selling of Catalina Island. He, in 
partnership with Don Juan Forster and George Downey, had purchased it 
for $1,200,000. The ever optimistic Major made a trip to London to confer 
with prospective buyers, and here, just as final arrangements for the deal 
were being made, he died just as fortune was about to come to him. 

Ulrich Kroeger 
In 1860 there came to Anaheim a cooper, to visit his brother, one of 
the original shareholders in the Vineyard Company. Finding his services 
much in demand, Mr. Kroeger bought a share in the company and pros- 
pered both as vineyardist and cooper. In 1868 he built the spacious home 
in which he now lives. His kind, blue eyes glistened as he told of "pioneer 
days." He is now in his 90th year. Seventy years ago he fought in the 
German army against Denmark. He came to California in 1854. With a 
merry twinkle in his eyes, he recounts tales of early associates, and then 

Founding and Early History of Anaheim, California Z7 

a wistful look as he says: "They are all gone. I am the only one left, and 
soon I will go." Truly the life of a real pioneer leaves the soul sweet and 

Mrs. John (Amelia) Frohling 
The only living member of the party of 1858 is today a marvel of 
physical and intellectual vigor. She lives in the home built for her by 
her husband before the wedding day, and here the event was solemnized. 
A daughter of Philip Hammes, she was one of the first group to reach 
Anaheim. In 1914 she wrote a sketch of the early history of the colony but 
has refused so far to have it published. When asked for a reason she 
hugged the manuscript to her, saying: "I could not take money for it. 
It contains my most precious memories." Mrs. Frohling considers John 
Frohling, her husband, the real "founder of Anaheim." 

The Ostrich Farm 

In 1875 Dr. Sketchley came to Anaheim, and on Coyote Creek, about 
seven miles from town, started the first California ostrich farm. He 
brought the birds from Africa. They flourished and the farm prospered. 
In 1878 the birds were sold to Mr. Atherton, an Englishman, who moved 
them to Placentia. 

The Fruit Dryer 

Some excitement was created when in 1876 it was announced in 
Anaheim that there would be installed a "dryer" that would preserve 
fruits with the flavor of fresh fruits. Two brick buildings were erected 
for the machinery. Large orders were received by the Superintendent, 
J. Heimann, and for a few years fruit was shipped in large quantities, 
even to foreign lands, but rival companies in larger cities were respon- 
sible for its discontinuance. 

A Street Railway 
Anaheim boasted a street railway in 1875. The track was laid in 
Center Street from East to West streets. For a time it was the object 
of great interest and quite the "fad" for the ladies to ride many times 
back and forth. There was no real need for the line as the distances in 
the shopping district were not great, and as Mrs. Frohling says: "We 
all had our carriages in those days." 

The Duel 

The early settlers of Anaheim did not welcome negroes, and when 
Red Rogers, an industrious, well-behaved negro took up his residence 
there they resorted to strategy to get rid of him. It was in the early 
sixties, according to Max Nebelung, and a group of so-called friends 
suggested that "Red" go with them for a drink. The barkeeper, pre- 
viously posted, refused to serve the negro. Acting on advice, "Red" 
challenged him to a duel. Time and place arranged, "Red" had a tin 
breastplate made and on the day appeared frightened but not one whit 
a coward. In fact, his pretended friends were almost converted into 
real ones by his courage. Paces were stepped off, orders given to face 
and fire, and the bartender fell, according to program. All Anaheim, 
then about three hundred souls, was there, and they acted the angry 
mob, while "Red's" advisers told him to run and they would keep the 
crowd back. He "ran" and so ended the career of the first negro in 

FROM 1846 TO 1857 

By Mabel R. Thayer 

As Nature employs herself in each succeeding year 
in the never-ending task of transforming the face of this 
fair portion of its surface, so has man evolved his history in 
California. He came in small numbers in the '30's and 
'40's, attempting to bestow upon this new and promising 
land the aspects of a home. He found much to prosper and 
delight his tranquil existence, but he soon found that cer- 
tain aspects of life in California refused to lend themselves 
to Eastern interpretations, and so it came about that just 
as nature left her stubborn crags to their own barren de- 
vices, so must he accept certain changes and limitations 
that the new life brought. 

In the very midst of his pioneering adjustments came 
the days of '49, with a deluge of men and ideas. This was 
not a time for meditation. The pages of its history are 
crowded with action. Every man was out to make his own 
fortune, and social development proceeded amidst a hodge- 
podge of stirring events and wild excitement. Men forgot 
tradition and often good sense, but revelled instead in an 
atmosphere of superlatives. Even today California feels 
the influence of those "unusual" days. Without definite 
laws, legal government, or strong-handed authority, it was 
little wonder that events took on fantastic shapes and 
aspects and that a unique drama of history was enacted. 

Because the records of those days of action rather 
than the written word are so pitifully few, we prize the 
more highly the efforts of the early editors who, though 
often but briefly, chronicled the happenings and thoughts 
of their day. When we begin to investigate the difficulties 
which they met and the dangers that they braved in pub- 
lishing their respective papers we are amazed that they 
made such Herculean efforts to keep the chronicle of their 
times before an indifferent public. 

1. Among the books and literature consulted In preparing this paper are: 
Annals of San Francisco: Everett, The Judge Lindsay of tlie "Idle Forties"; 
Chander, Journalism in California before the "Gold Rush"; Cummings, The 
Story of the Files; Derby, Legend of Phoenixiana; Guinn, History and Biog- 
raphy of Southern California; Hudson, Newspapers on the Pacific; James, 
Heroes of California; James McClatchy Edition of the Evening Bee, 1903; Land 
of Sunshine: Old California Days; Napa County Pioneers; National Encyclo- 
pedia of Biography; Nelson, The American Newspaper; Scanlan, Some Aspects 
of Pioneer California Journalism; Shuck, Representative Men; Survey, vol. 30; 
Tinkham, California Men and Events; Young, California Journalism. 


California Pioneer Journalists from 1846 to 1857 39 

In retrospect it seems marvelous that so great a number 
of men attempted work in the literary field in the "days of 
gold." It is our purpose here simply to glimpse into the 
lives of some of the most worthy and heroic of them. The 
two men who jointly edited and published "The Califor- 
nian," the first newspaper in California, are perhaps typi- 
cal of the group. 
Colton and Semple, Joint Editors of the First Newspaper 
Rev. Walter Colton, a native of Vermont, came to 
Monterey as chaplain on the Savannah, a U. S. A. man-of- 
war. He had formerly been editor of the North American 
of Philadelphia. He was a man of broad culture, good 
sense, and strong democratic principles. Upon his appoint- 
ment as alcalde of Monterey by the military commandant, 
he began to give his principles tangible form. He was 
astonished and dismayed to find that he had greater powers, 
as he said, than any judge in England or the United States. 
Everett calls him the "Judge Lindsay" of the "Idle Forties," 
because of his wisdom and good sense in dealing with law- 
breakers. He employed prison labor in building Colton 
Hall, a dignified two-story stone building, formed of rock 
from the neighboring hill. Its purpose was to shelter the 
school and all public assemblies. His proposal was at first 
scouted by the citizens of Monterey. He promptly fined each 
gambler twenty dollars to cover expenses on the school 
house, other than labor. Each prisoner was required to 
make fifty adobes each day. In the meantime they were 
lodged and fed by the government. He trusted them to 
work under their own guard. His decisions were famous 
everywhere for their fairness and because the punishment 
fitted the deed. He impanelled the first jury in California, 
which consisted of four Mexicans, four Californians, and 
four Americans. His dealings with the public seem to 
have made him feel the need of the people for a means of 
informing themselves concerning current events. 

Colton found a partner in the person of Robert Semple, 
a man of quite different type and character. Dr. Robert 
Semple, as he was known on account of his dental skill, was 
a man to command attention anywhere. His height was six 
feet eight inches; and the gun he usually carried, and was 
reputed to know how to use, assured him tranquility of life. 
He was a very eloquent man of much self-assurance. His 
wonderful vocabulary was astonishing to all who knew of 
his lack of educational advantages. One of his brothers, 
General Semple, became United States Senator. Colton 
says that on the opening of their business venture, Dr. 
Semple wore a fox-skin cap and leather clothes. 

40 Historical Society of Southern California 

Dr. Semple arrived in California in 1845 with the 
Hastings party in time to take part in the Bear Flag episode. 
He eventually became the historian of that unique event. 
It is said that his influence saved the movement from de- 
generating into outlawry. 

Having decided to start a newspaper, these two sturdy 
pioneers began seeking a means of realizing their dreams. 
The only press available proved to be an old rusty one which 
had been brought to the mission from Mexico in 1833 for 
the purpose of printing church orders. It was necessary to 
scour the rust from each type before the "pi" in which they 
found the type could be reduced to order. Since it had 
been used in Spanish printing only, there were no "w's," 
so that various devices, such as using two "v's", where neces- 
sary until "w's" could be obtained from the Sandwich 
Islands. The paper problem was almost as serious as that 
of type press. At last they secured small sheets of thin 
paper, then used for rolling cigarettes. 

They called the paper "The Californian." It was 
printed in English on one side of the leaf and in Spanish 
on the other. California news was obtained by means of 
couriers from all the military posts of Alta California. 
Abstracts from debates in the U. S. Senate were published, 
editorials covering broad fields of interest, local news, etc. 
The policy of the paper was a very liberal one, but favored 
the United States. "The Californian" was in addition the 
oflficial organ to Commodore Stockton. The first number 
was published August 15, 1846, and sold at twelve-and-a- 
half cents per sheet. 

Dr. Semple soon became a partner in a second business 
enterprise with General M. G. Vallejo. They promoted 
the new town of Benicia as a rival to San Francisco. So 
well did they succeed that for a time Benicia was larger 
than San Francisco. In a short time, however, the natural 
advantages of San Francisco asserted themselves and the 
Benicia boom came to an end. Dr. Semple's frequent ab- 
sence from Monterey left the triple duties of alcalde, editor, 
and printer to his long-suffering partner, Colton. It seems 
probable that Colton saw the folly of the land schemes 
and that his difference of opinion hastened the dissolution 
of the newspaper partnership. Semple took over "The Cali- 
fornian," and moved the plant to San Francisco. 

During the gold rush Colton complained that he, a 
general in the United States Army, and the commandant of 
the fleet, had to act as their own cooks and chambermaids 
because all the men had gone to war. Colton describes him- 
self as presiding over a community of women, a few soldiers, 

California Pioneer Journalists from 1846 to 1857 41 

and prisoners. Even the carpenters working on the school- 
house left when they saw the second sack of gold. 

Later Colton returned to his duties on a man-of-war, 
and was finally elected judge of the Admiralty Court for 
all of California. 

Sam Brannan of "The California Star" 

Another notable editor of this early period, whose paper, 
"The California Star," eventually absorbed Dr. Semple's 
Californian", was Sam Brannan, whose history is intimately 
connected with that of California in the Golden Age. Before 
his California adventure began he had spent five years as 
a journeyman printer wandering from State to State. In 
1842 he adopted the Mormon faith. He became an elder 
and printer of a New York Mormon paper called "The 
Prophet." His active mind constantly drove him to new 
endeavor. While in New York he fostered the scheme of 
Mormon colonization of California. He offered to colon- 
ize for the United States, but the offer was refused. He 
gathered two hundred and thirty-eight souls who were will- 
ing to make the venture. He seems to have had some idea 
of forming an independent Mormon state, for after a five 
months' voyage in the good ship "Brooklyn" to the Sand- 
wich Islands he procured many arms and much ammuni- 
tion. Brannan had provided among other supplies for his 
colony, a printing press and equipment, flour mill machin- 
ery, plows and other farming implements. 

Upon their arrival in San Francisco they found the 
country in the possession of the United States, so the scheme 
of conquest was abandoned. They sent twenty of their 
number to the San Joaquin Valley to prepare for a great 
colony. In the meantime Brannan had conducted the first 
Protestant religious service in Yerba Buena (San Francisco) 
on August 16, 1846. This service was held in Captain 
Richardson's large house. In his sermon he urged his 
hearers to stand true to the Mormon faith. In later years, 
however, he himself ceased to follow that admonition. He 
was a terse and fluent speaker and must have been a man 
of great personal magnetism if one may judge from his 
influence over others wherever he went. 

January 7, 1847, Brannan established the "California 
Star" in San Francisco. He promised that his organ would 
be nonsectarian. One object of his publication was to in- 
duce people to come to California. He had a committee 
prepare an article entitled "The Prospects of California," 
which he published in an extra, April 1, 1848. He employed 
a special carrier to convey two thousand copies to Missouri 
within sixty days. This issue treated the discovery of gold 

42 Historical Society of Southern California 

as of no importance. He had planned to publish a second 
extra in June, but by that time every one had gone to the 

He regularly collected tithes from this group of Cali- 
fornia Mormons, and it was because of a dispute over these 
tithes that his estrangement from the Mormon church oc- 
curred. In the meantime, during the year 1847, he had 
gone to Salt Lake to meet Brigham Young and the main 
body of the colony which was coming by the overland 
route. Keen was Brannan's disappointment when they 
decided to locate at the Great Salt Lake. That same year 
the Sam Brannan Company, under which name the Mormon 
project had been conducted, was dissolved. Brannan him- 
self erected two flour mills and engaged in farming in the 
San Joaquin Valley. 

When gold was discovered he went to the American 
River and secured a bottle of it. Upon his return he ex- 
pedited the exodus from sleepy villages by riding through 
the streets waving his hat in one hand and the bottle of 
gold dust in the other, shouting "Gold! gold! gold! from 
the American River." At no point in his astonishing career 
does his native shrewdness show itself more plainly than at 
this hour of madness. Instead of attempting to find a 
fortune, a free gift from Nature, he proceeded to gather a 
stock of goods for a store, while other men rushed madly 
to the mountains. He established the only store in the Sac- 
ramento Valley at Sutter's Fort. During 1848 and 1849 
his average sales were one hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars monthly, and he was soon the wealthiest man in Cal- 
fornia. In '49 he began to deal in San Francisco and Sacra- 
mento lands and started trade operations with China and 
the Sandwich Islands. 

As the Mormons found gold in the mountains, Brannan 
insisted that they turn ten per cent over to him, as the rep- 
resentative of the Mormon Church. The sum was so great 
that it led to a squabble with the heads of the Mormon 
Church in Utah, to whom Brannan refused to pay any 
tithes, and seems to have been the cause of Brannan's aban- 
donment of religion. His habits gradually changed and he 
fell to some extent under the curse of drink. His invest- 
ments gradually became less profitable, and his "golden 
touch" failed in its magic. 

In 1859 he removed to the Napa Valley where he ac- 
quired two thousand acres of land, including the Hot 
Springs. Here he spent about half a million dollars in an 
attempt to make a Saratoga of the Pacific. Many financial 
reverses followed. He finally died in Escondido, Mexico, 

California Pioneer Journalists from 1846 to 1857 43 

thirty years later. Perhaps no life was more typical than 
his of the strength and weakness of the Golden Age of 
California in things both social and financial. 

The Joint Editors of the "Golden Era" 
Perhaps the most remarkable paper of early Califor- 
nia was the "Golden Era." During the gold rush the warm, 
human touch of its paragraphs comforted many a home- 
sick heart and its rare engravings decorated the walls of 
many a lonely cabin. It numbered among its contributors, 
Bret Harte and Samuel L. Clemens. Horace Greeley paid 
high tribute to its remarkable character. It was founded 
in 1852 by Macdonough Foard, of the mature age of twenty- 
one years, and his junior, Rollin M. Daggett, nineteen years 
of age. Daggett, clad in red flannel shirt and top boots, 
went among the miners and secured an astonishing list of 
subscriptions at five dollars each. Daggett was responsible 
for many bright sketches concerning his experiences in 
crossing the plains on foot in 1849. In addition he is cred- 
ited with various works of fiction. After ten years as 
editor of the "Golden Era" he moved to Virginia City, Ne- 
vada, where he was elected to the Territorial Council in 
1863. From 1882 to 1885 he served as minister to Hawaii 
from the United States. 

Ames of the "San Diego Herald" 

It was in San Diego that another man of remarkable 
character started a newspaper long before the community 
seemed to hold any prospect of success for such a venture. 
Perhaps one of John Judson Ames's incentives to such an 
undertaking was the candidacy of Gwin for the United 
States Senate. Gwin supported Ames in many ways and in 
turn received support of the "San Diego Herald." 

Ames was born in Calaise, Maine, in the year 1821. 
His father being a ship builder and owner, young Ames 
made a voyage to Liverpool in one of his ships. Ames was 
a man to command attention anywhere, being six feet six- 
and-one-half inches tall, and of great strength. When his 
ship returned to Boston it was boarded by sail boarding- 
house runners and in the fight that followed Ames struck 
a man with such force that he died. Ames was tried and 
given a long jail sentence, but was finally pardoned by 
President Taylor. This experience seems to have sobered 
him for a time at least. He went to school and became a 
journalist. "The Dime Catcher" was started by him in 
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1848. It was a Whig organ. 

When the gold fever spread over the United States he 
came to California via Panama, reaching San Francisco, 
October 28, 1849. He was without cash when he arrived, 

44 Historical Society of Southern California 

and set about making good this shortage by borrowing a 
hand cart and moving baggage. His great size and strength 
stood him in good stead here as in many experiences later. 
The first quarter thus earned became his pocket lucky 
piece in years following. Ames found fellow Masons in 
San Francisco and formed some strong friendships. He was 
present at the first Masonic lodge meeting. It was here 
that he began to write under the pen name of "Boston." 

His determinaiton to establish a newspaper in San 
Diego caused him to return to the East, where he supplied 
himself with equipment and supplies for a printing oflfice. 
In order to expedite the journey he determined to ship his 
equipment across Panama. He secured a small boat and 
native rowers to convey them up the Chagres River. As 
they swung past the tropical forest where bright birds and 
insects flashed among the green creepers, their hearts must 
have been light with the joy of living. As they skimmed 
swiftly along the shallow, placid stream, the boat suddenly 
gave a fearful lurch as it ran against a snag, and a part 
of the casting was lost overboard. The boat was finally 
loosened from its perilous situation, the hole was repaired, 
and the natives standing in the water attempted to lift the 
heavy metal back into the boat. All day long under the 
tropic sun, half-blinded by the dancing reflections of the 
water, they tugged and worked, but to no avail. Every 
hour Ames grew more impatient. He knew that every 
minute lost increased his possibility of being left behind 
when the boat for San Diego sailed from the Isthmus. 
Finally his impatience burst all bounds. He leaped into 
the water^ throwing the natives right and left. In awe 
they watched him put his powerful hands beneath the crate, 
and straightening to his great height, lifting the heavy 
weight to its place in the boat. In their fear not one of 
them had lent him a hand in the feat. Although they con- 
tinued speedily on their way, the time lost was fatal to his 
plans, and upon arriving at the Pacific side he found that 
the San Diego boat had sailed on its way without him. 
While waiting for another boat he published the "Panama 

The only alternative was to take a steamer to San 
Francisco, and then take another boat back to San Diego. 
While awaiting a boat in San Francisco the fire of 1851 con- 
sumed part of his stores. His trip seems to have been a 
very unlucky one. Replenishing his supply as best he could, 
he finally made his way to San Diego, where he started the 
"San Diego Herald" that same year. He was then thirty 
years of age. Through Senator Gwin and other friends he 

California Pioneer Journalists from 1846 to 1857 45 

received much San Francisco advertising. Although Gwin 
was senator from 1849 to 1860, he did not keep his prom- 
ises to Ames, which embittered the latter somewhat. 

The ''Herald" was a vigorous, though sometimes er- 
ratic paper. Its policy included the annexation of Lower 
California and the Sandwich Islands, the construction of a 
continental railroad with San Diego as a terminal, and the 
division of California. 

It was Ames' habit to spend much of his time in San 
Francisco, writing long letters from there to be published 
in the "Herald", which he left in charge of the foreman or 
some friend. At one time while he was away a man by the 
name of Walton took possession of the paper and published 
it without Ames' knowledge or consent, injuring his equip- 
ment and reputation as well. When Walton heard of 
Ames' return, he disappeared, but was later arrested in 
Portland for robbery. At as early a date as this the policy 
of suppressing disagreeable news had found a foothold. 
Thus very valuable data have been lost. The difficulty of 
getting news of any sort was great because the mail service 
was only semi-monthly and there was no telegraph or tele- 
phone. Even paper was at a premium. Several times it 
was necessary to print the "Herald" on wrapping paper. 

Ames had many personal sorrows while at San Diego. 
His wife died in 1857, and while he was at San Francisco, 
her monument was mutilated, and his house was blown 
down. He became dissipated and broken in health. He 
married again two or three years later. When he found 
that Gwin's star was on the wane, and that San Diego was 
not as prosperous as San Bernardino, he determined to 
move his paper to the latter place. He published the last 
issue of the "San Diego Herald" on April 7, 1860. The 
"San Bernardino Herald" was not a success, and Ames finally 
sold the paper to Major Sherman. Ames died in 1861, but 
the press which had served him so well is still used in Inyo 

Derby, Engineer and Humorist 

No biography of Ames can be completed without men- 
tion of his friend, Lieut. George H. Derby, who in addition 
to being a sanitary engineer of very high standing, for the 
government, was a literary man, journalist, cartoonist, and 
humorist of no mean ability. The fact that he sometimes 
relieved the monotony of San Diego life by turning the vials 
of his wit and his practical jokes upon Ames did not seem 
to interfere with their friendship in the least. 

George Derby was a native of Dedham, Massachusetts, 
born April 3, 1823. He was a great-grandson of a Salem 

46 Historical Society of Southern California 

shipping merchant and son of an eccentric character of 
Boston. George claimed to have been expelled from school 
for having recited one of Kendrick Bang's poems at some 
school exercises. At any rate his standard of scholarship 
must have been high, for he entered West Point and was 
graduated in 1846, being appointed second lieutenant of 
ordnance ; but he was soon transferred to the topographical 
engineers. He made a survey of the harbor of New Bed- 
ford, Massachusetts. 

When war broke out with Mexico he was ordered 
there, took part in the siege of Vera Cruz, and was wounded 
in the battle of Cerro Gordo. He was brevetted first lieuten- 
ant for gallant conduct and was stationed in the topograph- 
ical ofRce in Washington until he had wholly recovered from 
his wound. He made surveys in the West, including Minne- 
sota. Amidst all his heavy toil and serious labors, he sought 
outlet for his genial, sunny disposition and high spirits by 
humorous excursions with his ever-ready pen. Poetry, 
humorous sketches, skits of travel, and side-splitting car- 
toons and jokes added much to the sum of human happi- 
ness. He wrote in the style of Mark Twain ere Samuel 
Clemens had begun. With delicacy of touch and sureness 
of aim he showed the humorous side of the conventionality 
of the East. One of his excursions into this realm caused 
him no small inconvenience and some heartache. 

While Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War from 
1853-57, he made several changes in the style of army uni- 
forms. These changes were unpopular with the men and 
raised a storm of criticism on account of the expense in- 
volved. Derby no doubt w^as as much exasperated as the 
other officers, and in a mood of jest made a series of car- 
toons suggesting other changes which might add to the 
utility of the said uniforms. Among others was that of an 
iron hook attached to the trousers of the uniform. When 
the men were marching a pole could be laid along in a 
row of these hooks, thus keeping the men in a straight 
line; if the weather were bad, the officers could hang the 
men along the fences at night to obviate the necessity of 
sleeping in the mud; at other times the kettles could be 
hung on them. These cartoons he mailed to Jefferson 
Davis with a letter couched in terms of mild irony. 

The Secretary of War had no sense of humor, but he 
did have a temper which flamed when he read this supposed 
insult to his great dignity as a cabinet member. He brought 
the infamous documents into a meeting of the cabinet, 
threatening to have Derby courtmartialed and dismissed in 
disgrace, or something worse. The effect upon the cabinet 

California Pioneer Journalists from 1846 to 1857 47 

was quite a different one. All decorum was lost in shouts 
of laughter as the offending cartoons were studied. They 
were sobered, however, when they found that the Secretary 
of War was determined to punish Derby. It took their 
combined efforts to prove to Secretary Davis that any such 
trial would make him, Jefferson Davis, the laughing stock 
of the entire nation. He did not rest, however, until he 
had had Derby "banished" by a transfer to the farthest 
point in the United States, namely San Diego, where he was 
to turn the channel of the San Diego River. 

Here in this sleepy settlement where even a ship sel- 
dom touched oftener than once in two weeks, he found his 
leisure time hang heavily on his hands. It is little wonder 
that he turned to the gigantic editor of the "Herald" for 
companionship. Their literary tastes and common inter- 
ests along journalistic lines soon cemented their friendship 

One day during Bigler's campaign for the governorship 
and while the "Herald" was lending him enthusiastic sup- 
port, Ames decided to go to San Francisco to try to secure 
a subsidy for his paper from Bigler supporters. He called 
upon his friend Derby to act as editor of the "Herald" and 
promised to be away but two weeks. He was well aware 
that Derby was capable of running the paper as well or 
better than it had ever been run by himself or any one else, 
and so he left no directions in regard to its policy. There 
must have been a twinkle in Derby's eyes as he watched 
the towering form of his friend make its way aboard the 
San Francisco boat. 

Left to his own devices, Derby proceeded to write an 
editorial in which he set forth his position as editor without 
warning or instructions. He conveyed the idea that he was 
rather at a loss as to how to conduct a paper. Having 
put this innocent face upon the matter, he proceeded to 
reverse the political policy of the paper. Dubbing candi- 
date Bigler by the undignified appellation of "Wigler," he 
proceeded to hold him up to the scorn and ridicule of the 
"Herald" subscribers. Ames lengthened his stay to six 
weeks, a six weeks in which his friend revelled in the dis- 
comforture of "Wigler." After the election was over the 
editor pro tem boasted that only one man in San Diego 
had voted for "Wigler," and he was found "dead drunk" 
behind a building. The remaining issues were filled with 
surmises as to what Ames would do when he returned, and 
when he finally did appear the "Herald" published a fire- 
and-brimestone account of the fight that ensued, and then 
informed the reader that he might believe all, or any por- 

48 Historical Society of Southern California 

tion of the story that he chose, or none of it at all. It seems 
that this practical joke did not greatly disturb the friend- 
ship of the men. It had one consequence, however, that 
Derby did not anticipate. While Ames was working 
among the San Francisco politicians trying to get a sub- 
sidy for his paper, one of them confronted him with a 
copy of the "Herald" which concerned itself with the 
candidate "Wigler." Needless to say any hope of a sub- 
sidy was lost. 

During 1854-56 Derby was on the staff of the command- 
ing general of the department of the Pacific, having charge 
of military roads. The year 1856 ended his "exile", and 
he was promoted to Captain of Engineers and was sent to 
the coast of Florida to build a light-house. Here he suf- 
fered sunstroke which eventually led to blindness and 

George Derby wrote under the pen names of John 
Phoenix and Squibob. Besides publishing may short articles 
and some cartoons he published a volume of sketches en- 
titled "Legend of Phoenixiana," with a subtitle, "In the 
Name of the Prophet — Figs!" John Kendrick Bangs wrote 
a preface for this book and it had a very wide circulation 
for many years. The main library in Los Angeles has a 
copy of it. It contains sketches on every subject from fleas 
to astronomy. In one place he remarked that he could not 
use the editorial pronoun "we," because he did not have a 
tapeworm. He advised men to drink all the whiskey offered 
them at election time but never to vote for a candidate 
offering it. 

McClatchy and His "Bee" 

One of the greatest of California journalists began his 
work just at the close of this period which we are consider- 
ing. Such a chronicle as this would not be complete with- 
out some mention of his character and unique work. James 
McClatchy, founder of "The Sacramento Bee," was a native 
of Ireland, which country he left in early youth upon the 
advice of a good Catholic priest, who could not bear to 
see so promising a youth crushed amid the great injustices 
that Ireland was then suffering. After following the baker's 
trade for a time in New York, his journalistic instincts led 
him to seek work with some of the New York newspapers. 
He finally entered the office of the New York "Tribune," 
and while in that employ became a fast friend of Horace 
Greeley, whose fearless spirit and keen mental vision 
proved a great inspiration to him. 

It was upon Horace Greeley's advice that he came to 
California during the gold rush and wrote letters to the 

California Pioneer Journalists from 1846 to 1857 49 

"Tribune" at the request of Charles A. Dana. McClatchy 
and his companions of the journey came via Panama, tak- 
ing a vessel from the Isthmus to Mazatlan, There they 
chartered the Dolphin to bring them to San Francisco. This 
vessel made a point but one hundred miles north of Cape 
San Lucas in twenty-eight days. Despairing of ever reach- 
ing Alta California at such a pace, McClatchy and twenty- 
eight others demanded to be put ashore, with the intention 
of walking to San Diego. The privations through which 
they passed nearly led to the death of all. At times all 
they had to eat was rattle-snake soup. Finally when 
nearly starved they found a raw-boned old horse whose 
flesh gave them enough strength to extricate themselves 
from the maw of the desert. McClatchy held out to the 
end of the journey but was in such a condition that it took 
him months to regain the likeness of his former self. When 
his strength returned, he made several attempts to find 
gold, but failing in this he made his way to Sacramento and 
worked on various papers there, among them the Daily 
and Weekly "Times," with Cornelius Cole in the editorial 
chair. His ability was soon recognized. 

It was not until 1857 that he founded the "Bee." This 
was a very important event in the history of the State. It 
has been the one paper of all the great number of Califor- 
nian newspapers fearlessly to stand for the rights of the 
people against monopolies and other injustices, and to hold 
uniformly to such a policy through all the intervening years. 
The name of "The Sacramento Bee" stands from ocean to 
ocean for a fearless policy and a fair deal. This policy is 
due to the character of the founder, James McClatchy, who 
let no power or no fear come between his paper and the 
right all the days of his life, and who passed down to his 
sons the tradition of a great paper. The "Bee" is a flour- 
ishing contradiction to the belief all too current in Califor- 
nia that a newspaper cannot prosper and follow an honest 
and fearless policy. 

The Martyr of the Freedom of the Press 

In the early days of James McClatchy there was at 
least one other journalist who was equally fearless amid 
dangers even greater than those which McClatchy faced. 
This other hero of the pen not only stood for clean govern- 
ment but actually became a martyr of the cause. The 
name of James King of William, founder of the "San Fran- 
cisco Bulletin," will stand as long as the history of the 
Pacific Slope is told, and be an inspiration to high endeavor 
to every journalist of the West. 

James King was born in Georgetown, D. C, and early 

50 Historical Society of Southern California 

assumed the title "of William" to distinguish himself from 
kinsmen of the same name, William being his father's given 
name. King was a man of very real culture, having eagerly- 
sought knowledge wherever it could be found. He was 
acquainted with the best literature in Latin and English, 
could speak Spanish and French fluently, and German in- 

When but fifteen years of age he began his wanderings 
by going to Pittsburg to clerk in a store. After serving 
as a post office clerk he began his journalistic career by 
working on the "Expositor" and the "Washington Globe." 
One of King's older brothers was with Fremont in Califor- 
nia. He urged James to come to California to go into busi- 
ness with him. James King of William embarked from 
New York for Valparaiso May 24, 1848, before the news 
of the discovery of gold had reached New York. While he 
was on his journey the brother who had sent for him 

Upon his arrival at Valparaiso he heard the news of 
the golden prospects toward which he was headed. He 
employed nine Chilenos at fixed wages to work for him in 
the gold fields. Upon their arrival at San Francisco, six 
of the nine deserted him. With his depleted force he hur- 
ried on to Hangtown and in three weeks they had found 
enough gold to pay all the expenses of the trip from Chile. 
Before long he seems to have tired of a miner's life and to 
have gone into Sacramento to do business with the firm 
of Hensley, Reading & Co. When autumn came he went 
East to secure capital to start a bank, and by December 5, 
1849, he had opened a bank on Montgomery Street in San 
Francisco. This was one of the very first banks in San 

Every one liked and honored him, not only on account 
of his pleasing personality and person, and his intelligence, 
but also for his straightforward character. By 1851 he was 
able to bring his wife and four children West with him. In 
1853 he sent a quarter of a million dollars by an agent to 
buy gold dust. Instead of following his orders, the agent 
invested this great sum in worthless mining stock. King 
ventured more to save the first, but it soon appeared that 
the whole was a total loss. Although King still had a nar- 
row margin on which to do business, he closed his bank 
and paid all creditors lest he should lose some of their 
money. This took his entire fortune. 

On October 8, 1855, he founded "The Daily Evening 
Bulletin" of San Francisco. At that time San Francisco 
was the victim of grafters of every kind. The city govern- 

California Pioneer Journalists from 1846 to 1857 51 

ment was run by them, society cringed before them; they 
went whither they would unashamed. The financial life 
of the city was on such a dishonest basis that no business 
investment was safe. Into this murky atmosphere a strong 
search-light was suddenly turned, and all sorts of creatures 
of darkness were caught in the midst of their vile acts. 
Having been closely connected with the business life of the 
city. King was able to expose dishonest firms and acts with- 
out mercy. He did not hesitate to give names, dates, and 
proofs. The political life of the city fared no better. In 
vain did the underworld threaten and slander. King was 
challenged to duels but refused to fight, saying that, were 
he killed, there would be no means of support for his wife 
and six children. Many credit him with being the man who 
turned public sentiment in California against dueling. King 
even defended suspected persons from the vigilantes until 
they be proven guilty. His enemies became many among 
the despoilers, but the people and all men of honor clung 
to him as the one hope amidst the almost universal cor- 
ruption. The "Bulletin" advocated Sabbath observance, 
establishment of public schools, blessings of education, and 
attempted to render gambling, idleness and dueling un- 
popular. All that was lewd and vile was condemned with- 
out qualification. 

The crisis came on May 14, 1856, when a political 
grafter whose past King had exposed shot him on the street. 
He lingered for six days while the whole city and state 
waited the outcome in awful suspense. In the meantime 
the last and greatest Vigilance Committee was gathered, 
the murderer and a companion were taken from the sheriff 
and his grafting crowd who had always managed to balk 
justice when a murder had been committed, and were held 
at the headquarters of the Vigilantes. 

When the pain-racked body could no longer hold the 
brave spirit of James King of William, the whole state 
mourned and vowed vengeance on the assassins and all 
their ilk. The whole nation honored King's memory. It 
is seldom that a man meeting death at thirty-four years 
of age has come to be so widely or favorably known as 
was he. 

The city and state raised a thirty-two thousand dollar 
subscription for his family as some weak token of the love 
and honor in which he was held, as the Vigilantes, with 
stern faces and a sterner resolve, hung his murderer with- 
in sight of King's funeral procession as it wound its way to 
Lone Mountain Cemetery. 

52 Historical Society of Southern California 

So ends the story of California's journalistic pioneers. 
Each in his own way, though all too briefly, helped to tell 
the story of California and to form the story as it was told. 
May the future accord to each the honor that he so greatly 
deserved ! 


Two letters written by his widow, Mrs. Annie E. K. Bidwell 

(Presented by Rockwell D. Hunt) 

Rancho Chico, Cal. 

April 11, 1913. 
Dear Dr. Hunt: 

Your very kind and welcome letter, and The Overland 
Magazine, arrived in this evening's mail, for both of which 
accept my sincere thanks. It is needless to assure you that 
your contribution, "California Pioneer Princes," to the 
Overland Monthly, has been read with great interest, and 
your tribute to General Bidwell's character and life, highly 
appreciated. His character was a continual and fascinat- 
ing surprise to me from the time we were married until God 
called him to his heavenly home. I could not know him 
before our marriage as I could thereafter, hence I say 
"from the time of our marriage." My father, mother, 
brothers, sister and I, all formed for General Bidwell an 
affectionate regard, which became on their part devotion 
and admiration; yet it was a year from the time he ad- 
dressed me ere I knew that I, also, had given him my heart, 
and must give, also, "my hand!" Life away from him was 
a burden, and until he "fell on sleep" his presence was a 
continuous joy and inspiration. His beautiful well stored 
mind; his abounding happiness; his resignation to any so- 
called misfortune, due to an implicit confidence that God 
is indeed our all-wise and loving Father, overruling mis- 
fortunes to our blessing; his unselfishness and modesty. I 
cannot enumerate his virtues, so many and varied were 
they. I have never known him at a loss (or unable) to con- 
verse with the most learned scientists, or men of letters, or 
the clergy, or little children, or uneducated men, or women 
or the Indians of California whether on his rancho, or in 
the various parts of this state, even when they could speak 
but a dozen English words. I have seen a party of Indians 
in the mountains near the Yosemite, pitifully poor, fleeing 
from the approach of tourists, but when General in his rich 
kind voice spoke to them in their own tongue, turn toward 
him; listen to him, and then with laughter of joy, answer 
him; and soon they were telling him what had become of 
this and that Indian, in answer to his questions, the af- 
frighted look having given place to one of trust and peace. 


54 Historical Society of Southern California 

And this confidence in him has been common to all the 
Indians whom he knew and I knew, or know, whether in 
the high Sierras or the valleys. An inmate of the County- 
hospital received as cordial welcome in his home as those 
whom the world delight to honor. 

Did he overtake a laborer on the highway with his 
tools, or pot of paint, or other burden ; or a tired Indian 
woman, immediately they were seated with us, and given 
"a lift" on their way. 

His joy in study until the last day of his life was an 
inspiration to me, spurring me on to do likewise, even 
though I lagged far behind, and was ever forced to have 
his help to keep me in a small measure "stepping" with 
him. But I must not ramble thus. 

Thirteen years since, on the 11th of April — ^this anni- 
versary day, — we laid his earthly remains to rest on his 
beloved rancho, the Indians singing a beautiful song of 
Christian hope by the side of his grave, and scattering wild 
flowers — gently laying them, rather, on his grave. As I 
stood this afternoon at that grave the scene which stood 
out before me in bold relief was this band of "natives," 
men and women, boys and girls, and little children, rever- 
ently and tearfully standing by his grave. As the hymn 
floated softly on the air strong men wept. I would rather 
have merited what happened that day at that grave than 
to have the most magnificent monument conceivable, placed 
over my body, or the most ornate oration. 

But I must close, with love to Mrs. Hunt, and expres- 
sions of gratitude to you for your just and beautiful tribute 
to my beloved husband; and begging you to pardon this 
interlined letter, written long on in the night after a day 
of great stress of soul, and to believe me 

Ever yours heartily, 
(Signed) Annie E. K. Bidwell. 

Rancho Chico, Cal. 

March 2, 1914. 
Prof. J. D. Sweeney, 

Red Bluff, Cal. 
Dear Prof. Sweeney: 

I have just received and read your article in River 
Rambler, and thank you very much for what you say of my 
husband, and for sending me your very interesting article 
on the early days of our beloved state. 

I am always grateful for appreciation of my husband 
not because of the tie which binds me to him (if I under- 

The Character of John Bidwell 55 

stand myself) but because he has ever been to me an ex- 
pression of all that is noble and attractive in patriotism; 
devotion to his beloved California; to education; to his God 
and humanity with a soul so joyous that naught could dis- 
courage or depress, his faith lifting him above the trouble- 
some and bitter things of earth into the sunlight and peace 
of God. He was a beautiful inspiring mystery to me during 
our fellowship in this world, and ever continues to be, and 
when he is praised I recognize in those who praise him an 
appreciation of traits which they must possess to appreciate 
him. Also, I desire that such men as he be held up before 
our youth as worthy to follow, rather than those who build 
fortunes for their personal glory and self-gratification. So 
many young men feel that to be rich, (for the self-glory 
of riches) is the highest aim in life, and have said to me 
that one must be rich to have friends, or position, no matter 
by what means these riches may be gotten. But I did not 
intend to inflict on you my personal views further than to 
express my gratitude for your very many kindnesses in 
regard to my husand's memory. I have tried to retain my 
membership in the Teachers' Association of this part of this 
state but have not been able to for lack of knowledge how 
to do so. 

Wishing you God's best blessings, believe me, 
Yours, with sincere regard and gratefully, 
(Signed) Annie E. K. Bidwell. 

By George Miller 

On April 12, 1869, I started from W. W. McCoy's ranch, 
now known as Crapton, in company with W. H, Rhodes, 
Paul Van Curen, Eugene Lander — a party of four with 
pack animals — for Death Valley, to look for the Gun-sight 
mine, so much talked of. 

This man Rhodes was one of the survivors among the 
emigrants who came through Death Valley in 1849, and 
picked up the silver — which proved to be almost pure 
silver — out of which they made a gun-sight. Mr. Rhodes 
told me that two men, named Martin and Townsend, 
brought the ore into camp, at the place now known as Sum- 
mit Camp, or Emgirant Pass, between Death Valley and 
the head of Panamint Valley, this being the second camp 
after they left their wagons. That was why it was called 
the Gun-sight mine. 

The place where they left their wagons was about 18 
miles west of the mouth of Furnace Creek, known as the 
Poison Springs, or Salt Springs, in Death Valley. From 
this place they went on foot, and drove their cattle loose — 
what they had left of them, for most of them had died. 
Their provisions were all gone, and all they had to live on 
was those poor cattle. They died more from starvation 
than they did for want of water. So Mr. Rhodes told me. 
This camp at the Summit Pass was the last camp they all 
made together. There they killed their cattle, and dried 
the meat, as best they could, to carry it along with them. 

They broke up into small parties there. In Mr. Rhodes' 
party there were either 11 or 14 — I have forgotten which. 
They had one old ox packed with their belongings and 
equipments. They had separated in small parties from one 
another, taking different directions. Mr. Rhodes and party 
— seven in all left alive from his party — arrived through 
Tehachepi Pass, or near Fort Tejon Pass, more dead than 
alive. These men, Martin and Townsend, got through on 
Kern River, and — I believe — then Walker's Pass. They 
were both murdered by some Spaniards afterwards. I do 
not think that Rhodes ever saw them from the time he left 
them at Summit Camp in Death Valley. The snow fell on 
them in that camp about 4 inches deep. 

Mr. Rhodes told me that before they separated at this 

A Trip to Death Valley 57 

place they divided up the money they had, each taking 
what he wanted, and dumped the rest in a blanket, about 
$2,000.00 or $2,500.00, and buried it under a greasewood 
bush. While we were there, we made good search to find 
the money, but unfortunately there had been a cloud-burst 
on that side of the pass, which had obliterated everything 
from that side of the canyon where they buried the money. 
20 yards away on the other side of the canyon the charcoal 
from the camp-fires was still there, and the bones of their 
dead cattle were there. These pesky cloud-bursts in the 
desert regions are common occurrences. 

This was the camp where the silver ore was brought in. 
Mr. Rhodes told me that he did not know whether these 
men found the ledge of ore, or whether they just picked 
up the float that they brought into camp. He said that he 
held it in his own hands, and that it was silver. But what 
interested them the most just then was the question whether 
the Lord would spare their lives, and let them get back 
once more into civilization. 

Now, when we left San Bernardino, four of us in one 
party, only three of us had pack-animals. Van Curen having 
just a saddle horse. We went out through the Cajon Pass 
and down on the Mojave River, four miles below the point 
of rocks there, leaving the river, and going in a northerly 
direction, with no road. The first camp we made after 
leaving the Mojave River was on the summit north of the 
dry lake that lies East of Fremont Peak, a dry camp among 
the Yucca Palms. There Van Curen's horse got away dur- 
ing the night. So I unpacked my mule for him to ride, and 
we divided up our packs, taking some of our things behind 
our riding saddles. I threw my pack-saddle up in a Yucca 
Palm, and I guess it is there yet, I have never been back 
since. We went on our way out by Granite Springs. There 
we came upon the first Indian sign — some Indian tracks, a 
few days old. We did not see any Indians. They were not 
very peaceable at that time. We had to stand guard after 
that, as there were only four in our party, but we were 
fairly well armed. I had a breechloading rifle beside a six- 
shooter. The other boys had one sixshooter each, and 
Van Curen had two. They were all of the cap and ball 
type, or what we called the muzzle-loader. 

We went on our way, travelling northward. Sometimes 
we would have an old Indian trail, sometimes none. We 
went through what they call the Slate Range, and on into 
Panamint Valley, up the Panamint Valley West; then 
North up Wild Rose Canyon, to the summit between Death 
Valley and Panamint Valley. Then we turned East on the 

58 Historical Society of Southern California 

summit, and North of Telescope Peak. There we got too 
far North, and could not get into Death Valley. We went 
back southward toward Telescope Peak, on the West side 
of the canyon, that came down from the Peak, on a big 
slide that put into the canyon going East. We let our ani- 
mals down the slide one at a time. We led the animal, 
one on either side, and slid him to the bottom of the canyon. 

There I picked up a piece of ore, almost pure lead. It 
would weigh about 20 lbs. — very little quartz in it, or 
quartz-rock — almost the pure stuff. I was a little excited 
when I picked it up, being right in the vicinity where the 
silver ore, that we had come to look for, was found. I 
handed a piece to Rhodes. He looked at it with a smile, 
and said, "George, you think you have struck it." I an- 
swered, "Haven't I?" He answered, "That is lead. We 
don't want anything that we can't carry out on packs, and 
make pay." He was a good judge of ore, and he said to 
me, "Come out home with me on the Colorado River, and I 
will give you a lead mine. All you will have to do is to 
cart it down to the river, and load it on a boat." But never- 
theless I took a piece of it, and had it assayed. It proved 
to be 72 p. c. lead, and 10 p. c. silver. So he knew what he 
was talking about. 

We continued on East from there, and got into Death 
Valley, East of Telescope Peak. We then went up the 
Valley North by the Bennet Wells. Mr. Bennet, the father 
of Judge Rolf's first wife, was among the survivors of the 
emigrants, I spoke of. Marthy and Matty Bennet — I knew 
them both — the two daughters. Both of them were little 
short women, about four feet high. We went on up the 
valley through the saleratus and salt. It was clear, like ice. 
We estimated it as being four feet deep. The horses would 
hardly make a foot-print on it. I have been told that it 
has proven to be borax, and has all been located, and 
worked since. 

We went on up what they called Furnace Creek, where 
these emigrants came in to Death Valley. There we saw 
the first live Indian. We had seen lots of tracks of Indians, 
but never could get sight of one. This fellow had seen us 
before we saw him. He was running across a dry lake 
against the wind. His hair was streaming straight out be- 
hind him. All the clothes he had on was what we called 
a Gee-string, and it, like his hair, was fluttering to the wind. 
We never bothered him. 

We went on into the mouth of Furnace Creek. There 
we found the tracks of the emigrants' wagons, and the 
cattle tracks, plain to be seen. Following over those alkali 

A Trip to Death Valley 59 

flats you could see them for hundreds of yards ahead of 
you. We followed on until we came to the Poison Springs 
— some call them the Salt Springs — about 15 miles West 
of Furnace Creek in Death Valley. That was the place 
where Rhodes' party left their wagons. The Indians had 
burnt the wagons, but the irons, logchains, skeins, staples 
from their ox-yokes, and linch-pins from their wagon axles, 
were there. Some wagons had gone on far West up the 
valley. We followed on some eight or nine miles further. 
The tracks did not look more than six months old. We 
came to a sandhill, about the size of Perris Hill, where our 
City works are. The hill was sand blown up over the tracks 
since the wagons had gone along. We went on around the 
mountain, and found a continuation of the track. It went 
to show that the mountain had been made since the wagons 
had gone along. We followed on a short distance farther, 
and the wagon tracks disappeared in the sand. We could 
not find any more traces of them. We were then near what 
appeared to be the upper end of Death Valley, this point 
being North about 12 miles from Summit Pass. We then 
went back to Summit Pass, or Grape-Vine Spring, Northeast 
from the Pass, about seven miles. We stayed there and 
prospected for a few days, and then moved up about two 
miles nearer the Summit, at the Doves' Spring. We were 
closer to grass, there being a big mesa on the Summit, 
covered with bunch grass. 

There had been an old Indian village there, some time 
or other, from the appearance. There were on the rocks 
images of animals, resembling ancient pictures, one repre- 
senting a goat. They were written on the rocks with some 
kind of indelible paint. 

We stayed there some time, prospecting between the 
two valleys. We then went back to Salt Springs, and took 
up the wagon-trail. We followed it to where we lost it the 
first time. We could not find any further traces of it. 

We went on into some mesquite timber, with a lot of 
cane grass — quite a large opening with grass. Just as we 
went into this grass opening, on the edge of the mesquite, 
we found a little hole of water with a basket sitting in it, 
and Indians' tracks about. The wind was blowing, and 
sand and dust were flying about. There were only a few 
grains of sand in the basket, and the Indians' tracks were 
fresh. We were satisfied that the Indians were close by. 
Rhodes said to me, "George, you have the only rifle. Take 
one of the boys with you, and track them up. I will take 
the animals with Van Curen back to the opening, out of 
reach of their arrows." I went ahead, and Lander fol- 

60 Historical Society of Southern California 

lowed me. I saw that there were but three tracks, and, 
when we got about 50 yards, I saw something dark in a 
mesquite bush. I whispered to Lander, and told him I 
thought it was the Indians. I bade him keep a sharp look 
out all around, and said that I would keep my eye on them. 
Sure enough it proved to be the Indians — one buck and 
two squaws. They had no weapons — bows and arrows — 
and they lay there as if they were dead. I spoke to them, 
and told them to come out. They would not move or an- 
swer. I then went in to the buck, and took him by the 
arm, and led him to the horses, and the squaws followed. 
Rhodes could talk good Spanish, and Van Curen could talk 
Piute, but we could not get a word out of them, or even a 

While we were advising what to do, the buck Indian 
began to walk back and forth, and put one hand up over 
his head, looking toward the mountain. Rhodes said, "He 
is making signs, there are more Indians about." We looked 
in the direction that he was looking, and there, coming 
down the mesa on the run, were about 35 Indians, all 
armed with bows and arrows, making straight for us. 
Rhodes said, "Keep cool, boys; don't get excited. I expect 
they will get us, but we will stay together, and we will give 
them the best we have got, and get as many of them as 
they do of us." When they got within 200 yards, Rhodes 
shouted in Spanish for them to stop. They stopped. One 
of their party could talk Spanish. He and Rhodes talked 
back and forth, and the Indian said that he had a letter 
from a white man, and he was a good Indian, and held up 
the letter so that we could see it. Rhodes told them that, 
if they were friendly to us, they must lay down their arms 
before the could come any closer to us. They did not want 
to do that. So Rhodes told them that they must leave their 
weapons there, if they were friends. They parleyed awhile. 
Finally Rhodes said to them, "If you are friends, lay down 
your weapons, and come on, and we will unpack a mule, 
and get you something to eat, and show you we are friends. 
If you come any closer to us with your weapons, we will 
open fire on you." About half of them threw down their 
arms, and started toward us. When they got within 50 
yards, Rhodes met them. The one that had the letter came 
in advance of the others, and handed Rhodes the letter. 
He v/as the only one of them that had any clothes on. The 
rest of them wore nothing but a Gee-string. Rhodes came 
back to us, and read the letter. It ran something like this. 
"To whom it may concern — This Indian worked for me at 
the Coso mines. He is a treacherous scamp; don't trust 

A Trip to Death Valley 61 

him." From the looks of the bunch, the recommendation 
suited to the dot. 

Rhodes unpacked one of the mules with the provisions, 
to get them something to eat. He told them to come on, and 
he stopped them about twenty yards from us. He told them 
to stay there until he had prepared a meal for them. Rhodes 
told us not to allow them to come any closer. They might 
jump on us, and try to overpower us, and take away our arms 
from us, that being an old trick of the Indians. We managed 
to keep them back until the meal was prepared. Then he 
took it out to them, and spread it upon the ground for them. 
The others, who had not come in yet, could not resist any 
longer. They threw their weapons on the ground, and 
came on, and joined in the feast. Judging from the looks 
of them, they needed it. They looked as if they had never 
had a square meal. After devouring about a month's supply 
of our provision, they were in a better spirit to talk. We told 
them what we came for, and that we wanted to be friends 
with them. We would like one of them to go along with 
us, and show us about where they found water and grass. 
We offered to pay one of them so much money, and a suit 
of clothes, to go with us. They were not favorable to that 
proposition, but we forced the thing a little on them, and 
promised to give the man all he wanted to eat. We got out 
the suit of clothes, and put them on one of them, and closed 
the bargain, by agreeing to bring him back on a certain 
date to his home. When we parted from our friends with 
our Indian, Rhodes told them that we would keep our word 
in good faith, but that, if they attempted to do us harm, we 
would kill the Indian with us first, and as many more as we 
could of them. 

With these words we parted, we travelling West to 
some small rolling hills. This seemed to be the upper end 
of Death Valley. We went on through a kind of wash, and 
the valley opened up again larger than ever. The Funeral 
Range was more prominent than ever, and the valley 
seemed to widen, and continued on in a northerly direction. 

We had been standing guard before this, each a half- 
night at a time. Now a new order of things began, since 
our new companion arrived. Rhodes made a bedfellow of 
him. I told him that, if he would sleep with the Indian, I 
would stand guard in his place. Our pilot took us on up 
the valley some distance — I think about 45 miles. We 
turned in North to the foot of the Funeral Range, where a 
big black round mountain stood out toward the valley. Like 
all the rest of that range, there was not a bush or a living 
thing — just the black glistening rock. When we got a short 

62 Historical Society of Southern California 

distance from the mountain, I heard a kind of squeaking 
noise. I looked up and saw a wild duck, with an Indian 
arrow sticking through the lower part of its breast, flying 
about. I called the boys' attention to it. The Indian pointed 
to the mountain — to a kind of depression or canyon — and 
I saw the top of a cotton-wood tree. Pretty soon I could 
see a little grassy glade. The Indian wanted us to stop, and 
let him go on up. We would not do that, but told him to 
halloo out. He did so, and an Indian stuck his head in 
sight. And then they began poking their heads up all 
around. Our Indian talked with him a few minutes, and 
then the other Indian commenced. He talked about ten 
minutes. He seemed to be very mad. Finally about eight 
of them came down closer to us, about 50 yards away. They 
parleyed awhile. Then they beckoned to us to come on. 
We went on up to the tree and grass, about 100 yards from 
them, and about the same distance from the hill. A little 
stream of water ran down through the grass, and we pitched 
camp under the tree. We built breast-works of our saddles 
and of rocks that were there, and tied our horses close in to 
camp. The Indians, about 20 in number, gathered together 
a short distance from us, and sat down in a circle, and 
talked in very low tones to one another. As soon as we got 
things fixed around camp, I walked over to see what was 
going on. 

I found that there was quite a stream of water running 
there. They had put in a dam, across the stream, and 
backed the water up, and formed a pond, and had built 
blinds of the tules that grew there. They were all shooting 
wild ducks from the blinds they had built in the pond. 
There was a considerable number of ducks there. The buck 
Indians would sit in those blinds, and, as the ducks swam 
up to them, they would kill them. The squaws would skin 
them with their fingers. Then they would take their long 
thumb-nails, and strip every bit of meat from the bone, and 
lay the meat in the sun to dry. They would throw the guts 
on the fire, aiad roast them and eat them, then and there. 
The dried meat they ground up in a mortar that they used 
for that purpose. They would grind up mesquite beans, 
tule roots, and other seeds, with a little dried duck's meat, 
and lizards. When they were ground and mixed up, in a 
conglomerate mess, into a dough, they spread it out to dry 
in cakes for bread later on. 

We now had to work our way back in order to get our 
Indian friend home on time agreed to by us previously. 
When we got back to within a mile or so from where we 
first took the Indian, we turned South West up a narrow 

A Trip to Death Valley 63 

canyon with very steep cliffs on either side, about wide 
enough to drive a wagon through. We travelled on about 
a mile up the canyon. It opened up into a more rolling 
country, the main canyon running South with cottonwood 
trees and plenty of water. We traveled on to the head of 
this canyon, and came to the home of our Indian friend. 
There was quite a cienega there, both water and grass. 

We came upon them quite unexpectedly. They were 
busy gambling. They had a little track, or trail, about 30 
yards long, made perfectly smooth, like a path, and with 
a small hoop, made of small willow branches, woven or 
wound in a circle, with a hole about two inches wide 
through it. Each Indian had a stick about two feet long, 
sharpened to a point at both ends. They would roll that 
hoop, or ring, through the path made for it, and from either 
side they would throw those sharpened sticks through the 
hole in the ring or hoop. That is how they were gambling. 

They were glad to see us with their Indian brother. 
They saw that we had taken good care of him, and that we 
had put some flesh on his bones. The Indian, who had the 
letter of recommendation, was there, but in a different 
mode of dress. He had gambled all his clothes away. One 
had his hat, one his shoes, and one had his shirt, and others 
his pants and coat. He was dressed up in his Gee-string. 
We stayed there that afternoon and one night. 

There I saw a freak of nature that I shall never forget. 
One of the squaws carried a child in a net on her back. Her 
breasts reached down to her thighs. She would lift her 
breast over her shoulder and let the baby, that was in the 
net on her back, nurse. 

The next morning we left that camp. One Indian was 
moving his family to another place, and went along with 
us, until we came to a trail that led back East to the head 
of Panamint Valley. That was the last we saw of our 
Indian friends. 

We went on into Panamint Valley, up Wild Rose Canyon, 
North over the summit, on the Death Valley side, to the 
Grape Vines Springs. We prospected about; found plenty 
of good-looking quartz, but nothing that would pay to pack 
out on mules. Our provisions were now gone — not a thing 
left. I killed a jack-rabbit, and a few birds and a hawk. 
It was too tough to eat. So we prepared to start home next 

The next morning, just before daylight, a man came 
along down the Wash. We halted him. It proved to be a 
white man. He and his party had come in the evening be- 
fore from Sierra Gorda, Inyo County, looking for the same 

64 Historical Society of Southern California 

mine that we were after. So we went back up to their camp 
at the Doves' Spring with him, and told him our condition. 
We got a supply of provisions from them at just what it 
cost them in Independence, Inyo. We then joined them in 
search for the Gun-sight mine there. 

Then Rhodes, Van Curen and Lander, started back for 
San Bernardino. I let Van Curen keep my mule to ride 
home on. I stayed with the other party a week or 10 days, 
and then one of their party, by the name of Jake Phold, 
and myself started for Lone Pine, Owen's River, intending 
to go on to White Pine, where there was mining excitement. 
When we got to Sierra Gorda at the head of Owen's Jake 
Phold got a letter from his partner at White Pine, telling 
him to stay home; and that he was coming back as that 
country was overrun. So I went to work in a smelting-fur- 
nace, for a man by the name of Belshaw, at $4.00 a day. 
There I met a man, by the name of Sam Bell, with whom I 
was well acquainted down here. He worked for Frank 
Talmadge at the mill. I also met a man by the name of 
Callaghan, who worked for John Brown, Senr in the Cajon 
Pass on the toll road. I worked there till the furnace brick 
melted out, and they had to stop for repair. I went on up 
to Independence, Owen's River. There I met Joseph Payne, 
and Willard, and David Wixom. I worked for Payne 
a while. I then went on to Fort Independence, and cut hay 
for a man by the name of Matthews. I then went up to the 
Black Rock Saw-mill, and cut logs for the mill until Fall. 
Then I came home by the way of Los Angeles. 

I might state for the benefit of some, who may read this, 
how those emigrants got into Death Valley. They had 
started from the Eastern States for California by the way 
of Salt Lake. They could not cross the Sierra Nevada 
mountains up North on account of snow. So Capt. Jeffer- 
son Hunt agreed to pilot them through on the old Santa Fe 
trail. Mr. Hunt is the father of Mrs. Edward Daley, Sr, 
living now in San Bernardino. They got out on the desert 
about Amargosa, and they became dissatisfied. They 
thought he was taking them too far South, and some of 
them rebelled, and would not follow him, and went farther 
West on their own account, and got lost. Those who stayed 
with Mr. Hunt came in all right. Others who had under- 
taken to follow, when they came to where the wagon-tracks 
separated, did not know which way to go, and became lost 
in the desert. When Mr. Hunt got in, he reported the facts, 
and they got up a party, and went to the rescue, and 
brought back all they could find. Fin Slaughter was one of 
the rescue-party. He lived at Rincon, or Chino. 



By Professor A. Harvey Collins 

At the magnificent exposition recently held in San Fran- 
cisco, there was one piece of sculpture which attracted un- 
usual attention and interest, as was proven by the fact that 
hundreds of cities throughout the United States made "AT 
THE END OF THE TRAIL" their first choice in the dis- 
tribution of these works of art at the close of the exposition. 
This ingenious design not only appropriately represented 
the elimination of our frontier but may as significantly rep- 
resent the Ultima Thule of a migrating people or sect. 

I have therefore chosen "At the 'End of the Trail" as the 
title of this paper and in the development of the theme set 
forth some simple annals of a pioneer people — the Mormon 
Outpost of San Bernardino Valley. 

Various incentives may lead men, organizations or na- 
tions to found these outposts of civilization, as the founding 
of the Marches by Charlemagne were for the purpose of 
protecting the empire against the inroads of the barbarians 
from the east, or the establishment of the Separatist Colony 
at Plymouth was prompted by religious conviction, or as the 
holders of the barren rock of Gibraltar occupy a strategic 
position for the defense of the British Empire and the pro- 
tection of her Mediterranean commerce. Thus it is evident 
that outposts may be established, or frontier lines advanced 
for the protection of the realm, for religious propaganda, 
for territorial aggrandizement, for commercial dominance, 
et cetera. 

One of these purposes may be sufficient to insure the 
success of the undertaking, but when two or more of them 
are combined we may expect greater and more rapid re- 
sults. This is witnessed by the colonial expansion of France 
under Napoleon HI, who successfully united two antagon- 
istic factions, the industrial bourgeoisie and the Catholic 
clergy, the one for commercial aggrandizement the other 
for religious propaganda. Again, in our own California, 
the celerity with which Father Junipero Serra founded mis- 
sions was accelerated by the desire to protect the Spanish 
Philippine trade and extend the jurisdiction of the Church. 


66 Historical Society of Southern California 

The settlement of the fertile San Bernardino Valley by 
the Mormons combined political ambition, economic better- 
ment and religious conviction. 

The history of Mormonism from its inception may be 
conveniently divided into definite periods, one of which, the 
decade from 1820 to 1830, marks the vision-seeing of 
Joseph Smith, the publication of the Book of Mormonism 
and the organization of the early Church. During this 
period and extending through the next two decades the 
Mormons were subjected to much ridicule and not a little 
persecution. All the while the Church was being aug- 
mented by converts, nevertheless, seemingly to avoid trou- 
ble, the leaders successively transferred the headquarters 
of the organization from New York to Ohio, thence to Illi- 
nois, later to Missoouri, to Iowa, to Nebraska, and lastly 
they trecked beyond the boundaries of the United States to 
Utah where they founded their permanent settlement and 
subdued the inhospitable desert. Brigham Young, chosen 
President upon the death of Joseph Smith, must have taken 
just pride in successfully conducting the journey over the 
plains, across the backbone of the continent to the settle- 
ment at Salt Lake City. 

Roseate as the sunset sky as it closes the portals of the 
Golden Gate must have been President Young's vision of 
the future as he saw the whole Pacific Coast peopled with 
Latter Day Saints, the sway of the Faithful extending from 
the rolling Oregon to the capital of the ancient Montezumas 
and from the inviting portals of the Golden Gate to the cen- 
tralization of power at Salt Lake City. 

Mormon missionary efforts in Europe, in Asia, in South 
America, in Australia and in the islands of the Pacific were 
being rewarded with a harvest of hundreds of converts. 

In order to realize the fulfillment of this dream of 
empire of the First President, what better plan could be 
conceived than to establish colonies of emigrants through- 
out this vast region, to serve as way stations to succor the 
weary traveling saint to and from the Mecca of the Faithful 
—Salt Lake City? 

President Brigham Young further desired the estab- 
lishment of a colony on or near the Pacific coast, not only 
as an outpost of the Church, but also as a Pacific gateway 
through which these foreign converts could be brought 
directly to Salt Lake City instead of disembarking them at 
New York harbor and subjecting them to the long, weari- 
some journey across the continent. The journey from this 
Pacific Colony overland to Salt Lake City was but one- 
third the distance from New York to the same destination. 

At the End of the Trail 67 

This imperial dream was certainly the conception of a 
master mind and but for the Mexican War might have be- 
come more than a dream — a reality. The vast territory 
included v^ithin the bounds of the dream lay at that time 
wholly without the United States, was wholly unexplored 
and sparsely settled. Morever, it was under the jurisdiction 
of a weak power whose seat of government was far away 
in the City of Mexico. 

Contemporaneous with the plans of the Mormons to 
migrate beyond the then western boundary of the United 
States, came the trouble between the United States and the 
Imperial Government of Mexico which led to the Mexican 

While the Mormons were encamped at Council Bluffs, 
Iowa, in 1846, completing preparations for the treck to the 
west, there appeared before their camp a deputation of 
United States Army officers from Fort Leavenworth and 
informed the Mormon leaders that General Kearny of that 
post had commissioned the deputation to inform them that 
the United States Government was unwilling to give its 
consent that so large a body of her citizens should leave her 
jurisdiction while entertaining the ill feeling the Mormons 
seemed to hold against the United States. Permission 
would, however, be granted on condition that the Mormons 
furnish a battalion for service in the United States Army 
against Mexico in the war then going on. If they refused 
to comply with this condition the band was to be broken 
up and dispersed throughout the States. 

After a council of deliberation had been held it was 
decided to enlist a battalion for a year's service, with the 
proviso that the battalion should be demobolized on the 
Pacific Coast and be permitted to retain their arms. 

When the lists were opened volunteers readily offered 
themselves until a regiment of 500 men was recruited, which 
became known as the Mormon Battalion. In the organiza- 
tion and career of this battalion we shall find the probable 
inception and origin of the Mormon Colony of San Bernar- 
dino Valley. 

This Mormoon Battalion of Iowa Volunteers was or- 
dered to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and from thence to proceed 
overland to California and assist in the conquest of that far- 
away province of Mexico. 

Under Lieutenant-Colonel Philip St. George Cooke the 
long overland march was undertaken and completed, but 
not without suffering many hardships and losses on the 
way. Arriving at San Diego in January, 1847, Colonel 
Cooke issued the following order of congratulation to the 
battalion : 

68 Historical Society of Southern California 

Mission of San Diego 

January 30, 1847. 
Order No. 1 — 

The Lieutenant-Colonel commanding congratulates the battalion on 
their safe arrival on the shore of the Pacific Ocean and the conclusion of 
their march of over 2,000 miles. History may be searched in vain for 
and equal march of infantry. Half of it has been through a wilderness 
where nothing but savages and wild beasts are found, or deserts where 
for want of water there is no living creature. There with almost hope- 
less labor we have dug deep wells which the future traveler will enjoy. 
Without a guide who had traversed them we have ventured into track- 
less table lands where water was not found for several marches. With 
crowbar and pick and axe in hand, we have worked our way over moun- 
tains which seemed to defy aught save the wild goat, and hewed a 
passage through the living rock more narrow than our wagons. To 
bring these wagons to the Pacific we have preserved the strength of 
our mules by herding them over large tracts, which you have laboriously 
guarded without loss. The garrison of four presidios of Sonora, con- 
centrated within the walls of Tucson gave us pause. We drove them 
out with their artillery, but our intercourse with their citizens was un- 
marked by a single act of injustice. Thus marching half-naked and 
half fed and living upon wild animals we have discovered and made 
a road of great value to our country. Arrived at the first settlement 
of California after a single day's rest you cheerfully turned off the route 
from this point of promised repose to enter upon a campaign and meet 
as we supposed the approach of an enemy, and this too without even 

salt to season your sole subsistence of fresh meat Thus, Volunteers, 

you have exhibited some high and essential qualities of veterans. But 
much remains undone. Soon you will turn your attention to the drill, 
to system and order, to forms also which are all necessary to the soldier. 

Lieutenant-Colonel P. St. George Cooke. 
By order, P. C. Merrill, Adjutant. 

Of this battalion General Kearny said: "Napoleon 
crossed the mountains, but the Mormon Battalion crossed a 

After a rest of but a few days the battalion was as- 
signed to garrison duty at several points, being divided up 
for this purpose. 

From Los Angeles Company C of the Mormon Battalion 
was ordered, in April, 1847, to proceed to Cajon Pass, just 
north of the present site of San Bernardino, and there take 
such a position as to prevent maurading and hostile Indians 
from coming into the valley to annoy the settlers. 

In obedience to this order this Company effectively 
protected the people and at the same time became familiar 
with the Climate, beauties and fertility of the valley. More- 
over, during the period of their encampment in the pass 
many of the members procured furloughs and spent the 
time in working in the wheat harvests from the pass to the 
Rancho del Chino, for the purpose of getting provisions for 
the long trip to Salt Lake City, which they were planning 
against the time of the expiration of their enlistment. This 

At the End of the Trah. 69 

time came on March 14th, 1848, and on the 21st twenty-five 
of them set out for Salt Lake City, not tempted by the 
alluring news which had undoubtedly reached them of the 
gold strike in the north. 

With one wagon and many pack mules this band of 
twenty-five indomitable men broke another trail across the 
desert and up through Nevada and Utah, arriving at Salt 
Lake City June 5th, 1848. Others of the battalion, after 
demobilizing, went north and worked in the mines a season, 
later going on to Utah. 

From an unpublished history of San Bernardino in the 
archieves at Salt Lake City I take the following: "A num- 
ber of the brethren who had served in the Mormon Battalion 
and also a number who had visited California on different 
occasions were very favorably impressed with the sunny 
climate and fine facilities for farming and ranching on the 
Pacific Coast, and quite a number of them had expressed 
their desire to President Brigham Young to go there and 
establish a settlement of the Saints in Southern California. 

"President Young seemed at first to be opposed to such 
a movement, as he desired all the Saints to gather in the 
valleys of the Rocky Mountains; but he finally yielded the 
point and to a certain extent waived his objections. At a 
meeting held at the President's office in Salt Lake City, Feb- 
ruary 23, 1851, a number of brethren were blessed and set 
apart by President Brigham Young and his councillors, for 
various missionary fields. Elder Amasa M. Lyman was set 
apart to take a company (together with Elder Charles C. 
Rich) to Southern California, to preside over the affairs of 
the Church in that land and to establish a stronghold for 
the gathering of the Saints. 

"Plans were immediately set on foot to send out a 
company of about twenty-five persons under the leadership 
of these two men. But so many had heard of Southern Cali- 
fornia from those who had returned from the Mormon Bat- 
talion that when the lists were opened not twenty-five but 
five hundred were anxious to come. 

" 'I was sick,' said President Young, *at so many of the 
Saints running to California chiefly after the gods of this 

"In that moment of surprise and disappointment was 
probably formed the determination in some way to bring 
back the faithful to the sacred Zion of the Church at Salt 
Lake City." 

Among the interesting characters who played star roles 
in the early drama of Mormon migration from Salt Lake 
City to San Bernardino Valley, was Captain Jefferson Hunt. 

70 Historical Society of Southern California 

He with two sons were among the first to enlist in the Mor- 
mon Battalion. He was at once commissioned Captain and 
placed in command of Company A. 

Captain Hunt, while stationed at Los Angeles, had 
taken occasion to cultivate the acquaintance of the promi- 
nent men of Southern California of the time, and to make 
extended trips to examine thoroughly the nature of the 
country throughout the territory surrounding that city. 

He it was who gave President Young definite informa- 
tion concerning San Bernardino Valley. 

After receiving their discharges from the army, he and 
his sons went north into the mines where they were very 
successful. Later returning to Salt Lake he found not only 
his family but others in want for food. He at once organ- 
ized an expedition and led it over a southern route and 
through the Cajon Pass into the San Bernardino Valley, 
thereby becoming the first white man to enter California by 
that now famous gateway. 

Securing 300 cattle and 150 horses of the Lugos, he 
loaded them with supplies, and with a force of hired vaque- 
ros returned to Salt Lake City. He next piloted a company 
of miners by this southern route into California. Some of 
this company, becoming impatient, left his guidance and 
became the victims of the Death Valley tragedy. Those 
who remained with him were brought safely through. Cap- 
tain Hunt again hastened back to Salt Lake City and urged 
the sending out of an expedition to establish a colony in 
San Bernardino Valley. 

Hunt was at once chosen as guide and organized the 
emigrants into three divisions, the better to insure water 
and forage through the desert. 

With cattle and horses and tools and machinery and 
families the 500 people were ready to start in March of 
1851. Without mishap of consequence the vanguard under 
Hunt came through the Cajon Pass and camped at Syca- 
more Grove, June 24, 1851. Within a few days the other 
divisions arrived, one under command of Captain Lytle en- 
camped upon the stream that now bears that name, and 
gathers its crystal waters from the snowy slopes of "Old 
Baldy." Captain Hunt and others were so impressed with 
the possibilities of the Rancho del Chino that they planned 
to purchase that tract, but when negotiations were opened 
with this in view, Colonel Isaac Williams, the owner, con- 
sidered it too good an investment to dispose of and refused 
to sell. 

Before their encampments lay the stretching leagues 
of the Rancho de San Bernardino, the property of Jose 

At the End of the Trail 71 

Maria Lugo, Jose Del Carmen Lugo, Vicente Lugo and a 
brother-in-law, Diego Sepulveda. The three brothers and 
Seiiora Sepulveda were the children of the proud, courtly 
old Spanish Don Antonio Maria Lugo, who owned one of 
the finest ranches of California, near Los Angeles. 

From **E1 Faldo de Sierras" (brow of the mountains) 
above Arrowhead on the north to the "Lomeras" on the 
south and from Arroyo de Cajon on the west to the "Sierras 
de Yucaipe" on the east and probably beyond that crest 
into the beautiful valley of that name, stretched the broad 
acres of the Rancho de San Bernardino. To the owners of 
this rancho came Messrs. Lyman, Rich, Hanks and Robbins, 
with an offer to purchase. 

"On September 22, 1851," says a Manuscript History 
of San Bernardino, "Apostles Amasa M. Lyman and Charles 
C. Rich and leading brethren of the intended California 
Colony concluded the purchase of a tract known as the 
Rancho de San Bernardino, containing between 80,000 and 
100,000 acres of land. The soil on this purchase was very 
rich and water and timber abundant. The site for a settle- 
ment was selected with a view to forward the emigration 
from abroad to the valley of the Great Salt Lake and from 
Europe, in particular, agreeable to the instructions of the 
First Presidency in one of their general epistles." 

The price was $77,000. Without ready cash for the 
first payment a committee was sent to San Francisco, where 
the money was secured. On the return trip the parties with 
the money were met at San Pedro by Sheldon Stoddard, 
with a mule team for the journey overland to San Bernar- 
dino Valley. 

In connection with this journey occurred one of the 
episodes of the Mormon period, interesting but not yet 
published, known as the "Robbery incident" and told by 
Sheldon Stoddard, who passed away early in May, of 1919, 
at San Bernardino. As the party approached Cucamonga 
with the treasure and the ever faithful mule team, instinc- 
tively — at least fortunately — one of these faithful animals 
was taken sick, and thus the party delayed for several 
hours. After proper treatment the animal recovered, and 
the party proceeding on their way arrived safely at Syca- 
more Grove. Upon heresay and confirmed by investiga- 
tion, they found that robbers had lain in wait for them 
along the route. "Unmistakable signs," says Mr. Stoddard, 
"were found near Lytle Creek wash, where the robbers 
had been concealed, and their horses had been tied. Grow- 
ing weary at the delayed coming of their intended victims, 
the robbers had abandoned their intention and made off." 

72 Historical Society of Southern California 

Thus the timely — one might almost say the providential — 
illness of a mule, an unusually healthy animal, frustrated 
the evil designs of these highwaymen, saved $20,000 to its 
rightful owners and probably the lives of the protectors 
of the money. 

According to the understanding of these Mormon 
Pioneers they were to receive 27 leagues of land by their 
contract with the Lugos, but it seems that the laws of Cali- 
fornia were so construed as to cut this down to eight 

Rather than take the dispute into court where the 
chances would have been against them, they accepted the 
interpretation and were accorded their choice in selecting 
the eight leagues. As they put it, they selected "the very 
cream of the cocoanut." 

Pressed by the necessity of providing food, the colonists 
were so eager to get to work that they began to put in crops 
even before the deed to the rancho had finally passed to the 
new owners. All the tract north of San Bernardino reach- 
ing to the mountains, 1300 acres, was planted to wheat. 

That was an amazing first crop, too. All the stored-up 
fertility of the ages seemed waiting to smile bountifully 
upon those who first released this pent-up energy. This 
first crop was raised in common, and 1/10 of all the pro- 
duce whether of grain or stock was turned over to the 
Church authorities and was, no doubt, in this case applied 
on the purchase price of the rancho. The surplus wheat 
both of the tenth and that which remained after providing 
for each family and for seed, was sold at $4.00 per bushel 
or ground into flour and sold in Los Angeles at $32.00 per 

That the venture was a financial success is shown by the 
fact that during the six years of their sojourn in the valley, 
the debt incurred in the purchase of the Rancho was prac- 
tically discharged. 

The land was sold to individuals at from 11.00 to 16.00 
dollars per acre, each buyer turning over his surplus pro- 
duce to Elders Lyman and Rich to apply on the individual 
purchase and in turn converted into money paid for the 
rancho; this annual surplus together with the perfect 
tithing system of the organization, as stated above soon 
paid off the debt. 

Building of the Fort — the Indian Scare 

On the south side of the valley, just northwest of the 
present site of the Loma Linda Sanitorium, was the Ranch- 
eria of the Homoa Indians and up the San Timeteo Canyon 
beyond dwelt about 600 Coahuilla Indians under their able 

At the End of the Trail 7Z 

and honest chief Juan Antonio. The latter were Mission 
taught Indians who wove the wool raised by the ranchers 
into blankets and other fabrics as they had been taught by 
the Padres. These tribes were seemingly on friendly 
terms with the white settlers of the valley, and Chief An- 
tonio often smoked with them the Pipe of Peace. But 
through the passes of the mountains the warlike Utes and 
other desert tribes made raids into the valleys to drive off 
stock and commit other depredations. 

Concerning the Indian scare and the building of the 
fort I quote from the unpublished history noted above: 

"On November 23, 1851, John Lewis arrived from Los Angeles with 
alarming news to the effect that the Indians at the Colorado river had 
risen and killed all the Americans in that neighborhood and also Mr. 
Warner who lived about 75 miles this side of the river, as well as all 
the whites in the neighborhood of Temecula (60 miles south of San 
Bernardino). The report further stated that a confederacy had been 
formed between the Coahuilla Indians in the neighborhood of San Bernar- 
dino and all the mountain Indians as far up as Santa Barbara, and the 
Indians intended to attack all points between Santa Barbara and San 
Bernardino simultaneously. Brother Lyman, in consequence of this news 
deferred his departure for San Francisco. A strict guard was placed 
around the settlement for the night and a call made for a meeting of the 
whole camp on the morrow. A general drive was made the next day at 
San Bernardino and all the horses and cattle were coralled and a guard 
placed over them. Captains Hunt, Hunter and others were ordered out 
to reconnoitre and endeavor to ascertain the truth of the statements of 
the previous day. An order was also dispatched to the garrison at Rancho 
del Chino for arms and ammunition, the Mormon settlers being short of 
both. In the evening the camp came together to devise means for the 
safety and protection of the settlement. Captain Hunt, Hunter and others 
had returned and reported that according to what they could learn the 
statements of the previous day were correct, and a general feeling of 
alarm pervaded the country, though the animosity of the Indians appeared 
to be against the Americans particularly. Capt. Jefferson Hunt was ap- 
pointed commander in chief of the forces of San Bernardino with John D. 
Hunter and Andrew Lytle as captains. The military strength of the settle- 
ment was composed of two divisions under the captains named. The 
question of building a fort was agitated and a strict guard ordered for 
the night and a meeting appointed for the morrow. On November 25, 
the weather was warm and pleasant in San Bernardino. The people 
turned out en masse to the meeting appointed, at which it was agreed 
that the building of a fort should commence immediately and that all 
the families comprising the settlement would move into the contem- 
plated fort which should enclose eight acres of ground. This was sup- 
posed to be sufficient to include all the settlers. The brethren who 
were dispatched the day before for arms and ammunition returned this 
evening with arms and ammunition but not as much as was wanted; 
they brought only six muskets and 500 rounds of cartridges. Capt. 
Lovell, the commandant of the garrison at Chino, replying to the note 
of Bros. Lyman and Rich, suggested that the settlers of San Bernardino 
should fortify themselves and keep a vigilant guard. Before evening 
nearly all the families of the camp had moved in and the building of 
the fort had been commneced in earnest and this work so divided that 
each individual had a certain portion of the fort to finish. (For a full 
description of this fort, see IngersoU's "Century Annals of San Bernar- 
dino County," 133-135.) 

74 Historical Society of Southern California 

The fort was in the form of a parallelogram, 300 feet 
wide and 720 feet long. On the north and south ends and 
along the east side it was made by splitting cottonwood 
and willow tree trunks, fitting the edges tightly together 
and setting them three feet in the ground and leaving them 
twelve feet above ground. On the west side the wall was 
made by moving the log houses from their various locations 
about the settlement, and placing them with their outer 
walls joining to form a tight wall. When the supply of 
houses gave out they completed the side by laying up logs 
in block house fashion. Bastions at the corners and in- 
dentured gateways permitted a cross fire on any foe who 
might attempt to come near to burn the fort. Loopholes 
for defense were made all along the outer walls. A stream 
of water was brought in from Lytle creek and widened into 
basins on the interior. Except on the west and within the 
inclosure rows of houses were built about 18 feet from the 
wall. Eighty-eight of these houses provided homes for the 
settlers. Additional sleeping quarters were provided in 
the covered wagon beds used in the overland trip from 
Salt Lake. Meeting and school house, store-house, wagon 
shop and central oflflce provided ample facilities for the 
community life. Within this fortification at least 100 fam- 
ilies and many unmarried adults lived for more than a year. 
There were not fewer than 150 able-bodied men acquainted 
with the use of fire arms and capable of defending the fort. 
Vigilant guard was kept night and day under the command 
of Captain Jefferson Hunt. No attack was made upon the 
fort. Perhaps the Indians, noting the splendid prepara- 
tions made for defense, were deterred from raiding the 

However, as late as 1866, while some of the settlers 
were collecting their cattle from the mountains, maurad- 
ing Indians fired from ambush and killed a Mr. Bemis, Mr. 
Parish and Mr. Whiteside. As the Indian scare died down 
the people began moving from the fort and again building 
homes on their own land. 

Enterprise and Prosperity 

That these pioneers were pleased with the country and 
enterprising in its development is shown by a letter written 
by Amasa M. Lyman, President, to Elder Franklin D. 
Richards from v^^hich I wish to quote in e.vtenso: 

1852. "As for ourselves, we have a great deal of labor attending 
new settlements in hand. In December, 1851, we had finished the sur- 
vey of our big field of nearly two thousand acres; plowing and planting 
immendiately followed; after which brother Rich, with a small party, 
started to look out a road from this place to San Diego. He succeeded 
in finding a good wagon road, with good feed and water all the way. 

At the End of the Trail 75 

"In April, 1852, we reared our Bowery, which is an adobie building, 
sixty feet by thirty; in which we held our Conference on April 6th, 
which was a happy day with the Saints here. Eighty-one persons came 
forward and partoolt of the ordinance of baptism. The Bowery is 
occupied during the week by our Day School of one hundred and twenty- 
five scholars, under the direction of two well qualified teachers; and on 
the Sabbath, after the morning service, by our Sabbath School and 
Bible class, which are largely attended by old and young. We have 
in rapid progress a grist-mill of two run of stones, which, when com- 
pleted, will be second to none in the States. For the present we shall 
use but one run of stone, and in place of the other, substitute a circular 
saw, which will supply us with lumber until we can take time to build 
a sawmill, which we shall erect this fall upon one of our mountain 
streams. One of our citizens has procured an engine and machinery, 
and contemplates the speedy erection of a steam saw-mill. 

"We have completed a good wagon road to the dense forests of pine, 
hemlock, and red-wood, that cover the mountains adjacent to this place; 
so that we shall soon be able to supply this part of the state with lumber 
of the best quality, at less than gold mine prices. 

"In March we commenced the survey of our city, and on the 8th 
day Brother Rich and myself planted the centre stake upon Temple 
Block. The site of our city resembles very much the site of Salt Lake 
City; in the rear we have the venerable snow-clad cap of the Sierra 
Nevada towering to the clouds, at the foot of which gush forth innumer- 
able streams, whose crystal waters can be dispersed throughout the 
city, thereby affording to our citizens an abundant supply of that de- 
licious beverage. The site is upon an inclined plane, at the foot of 
which for miles either way, extends a dense growth of willow, cotton- 
wood, and sycamore, which affords an abundant supply of timber for 
fuel and fencing purposes. On the left breaks forth a bold mountain 
stream, called the Rio de San Bernardino, which affords an abundant 
supply of water for irrigation, as well as excellent sites for mills and 

"Near the river we have our youthful vineyard of forty acres, which 
we purpose to increase to a more respectable size in time. Near the 
vineyard in ruins, are evidences of the industry of the Jesuits, who 
occupied parts of this country when Catholicism swayed its iron sceptre 
over this lively, though benighted land. 

"Within a mile of Temple Block there is a warm spring of pure 
water, which runs but a few steps until its mingles its waters with a 
sulphur spring; and another of pure cold water; so that when we have 
our bath-house erected, we can enjoy the luxury of the warm and cold 
bath in the same establishment; and should the invalid visit us, he can 
test the virtue of our medicinal springs. 

"Our harvest of wheat has proved an abundant one, but I am not 
prepared to say what the yield has been to the acre. We have also 
every prospect of an abundant harvest of corn, beans, potatoes, etc. 

"Flour has been selling since our arrival here, from QVz dollars to 
8 dollars per 100 lbs. Beef cattle from 12 dollars to 16 dollars. Milch 
cows, with calves from 15 to 25 dollars; horses from 30 to 80 dollars, 
and brood mares from 10 to 25 dollars; the brood mares are seldom 
broke to ride or work; when they are, they demand a high price. 

"As to the climate it is as pleasant as we could wish. The past 
winter, which I learn is an average of the winters here, has been ex- 
tremely mild and pleasant. At no time during the winter was the 
weather so cold that an overcoat was necessary. The first rain was on 
November 30th, a pleasant shower resembling a May shower rather 
than an indication of winter. The next was on the 5th of December, 
after which it rained at intervals until the first of April. It was seldom 
during the winter that the rain prevented our outdoor work. The 

76 Historical Society of Southern California 

climate approximates nearer to perpetual spring and summer than any- 
country that I have been in. The grass here becomes dry in June and 
July, but retains its nutriment, in December after the first rains nature 
is again robed in green. 

"The hills as far as the eye can extend are covered with wild oats 
and mustard, and the valley with rich grass. 

"Wheat is generally sown in November, and gathered in June; the 
soil and climate are well adapted to the culture of the olive, grape, fig, 
orange, peach, etc. Great attention is given to the culture of the grape, 
which is raised in great abundance, and of an excellent quality. Large 
quantities of wine are annually made here, which are consumed by the 
natives or shipped abroad. We find here in great abundance, a species 
of cactus, or as it is termed prickly pear, which grows in many instances 
to the height of thirty feet, and bears a delicious fruit, resembling in 
form the common English pear; one kind is a deep scarlet color, another 
yellow. It was in time gone by used for fencing purposes, and even now 
we find vineyards and orchards enclosed with it." 

Through the courtesy of Dr. Edward I. Rich of Ogden, 
the son of Elder Charles C. Rich, Mr. Joseph Fielding 
Smith, Jr., Assistant in the Latter Day Saints' Historian's 
ofRce at Salt Lake City, sent me a copy of the letter from 
which I have just quoted, and also excerpts from the un- 
published History of the Mormons of San Bernardino Val- 
ley. At the risk of overtaxing your patience may I quote 
further from these annals: 

"Independence Day, 1852, was celebrated by the people gathering in 
the Bowery and listening to an eloquent speech by President Amasa M. 
Lyman. Monday, July 5, 1852, the celebration was continued by the 
people of the settlement turning out and cutting down and binding up 
all the wheat on Brother Charles C. Rich's field. During this same month 
the mill at San Bernardino ground its first wheat, when It was found 
that the machinery was not in complete order, so that flour could not 
be made until the necessary repairs had been finished. 

"In August the Bowery was completed and later in the month a 
number of the brethren hauled a steam engine up into the mountains 
to run their saw-mill. 

"During the fall of 1852, the people were busy gathering in their 
grain and had two threshing machines in operation, one of which was 
run by water power and the other by horse power. These threshers 
were made by the settlers of San Bernardino. 

"1853. During this year many more people were added to the settle- 
ment and the brethren brought under cultivation 2,000 additional acres 
of land. Another mill was built and this one and the other fiour mills 
were kept busy grinding the grain for the people there and to sell to 
help pay off the remaining indebtedness upon the ranch. Flour cost 
from 50 to 60 dollars per barrel. The daily schools were well attended 
by the children of the settlement. 

"San Bernardino County was organized, which extended north of 
San Diego, some forty or fifty miles, connects on the east with Utah and 
reaches westward within 25 or 30 miles of the ocean. The following 
were elected to the different county offices: Daniel M. Thomas, Judge; 
Henry G. Sherwood, Surveyor; Quartus S. Sparks, Attorney; Robert 
Clift, Sheriff; William Stout, Assessor; David Seely, Treasurer; William 
J. Cox, Coroner; Richard H. Hopkins, Clerk and Recorder. 

"During this year the brethren succeeded in getting their canal 
built, bringing the water from the mountains into the fort. 

"During the years of 1854-55 the brethren each year planted more 

At the End of the Trail 77 

than 4,000 acres of grain but the crops were not very heavy owing to 
the blight and rust. 

"1856. Early in February, the people were busy making gardens 
and set out several thousand fruit trees. The crops were very good this 
year. A party in opposition to the Mormon settlers in San Bernardino 
was organized and tried their best, at the elections, to gain control of 
the settlement. During this year several new stores were erected, many 
improvements made in the old stores and the spirit of enterprise which 
characterizes the people of California is as observable here as in the 
older and more populous communities. There were about three thou- 
sand people in San Bernardino at this time. From the Assessors list 
we extract the following concerning the number of cattle at the ranch: 

American Cows 13,500 

California Cows 618 

American Oxen 230 

American Horses 174 

California Horses '. 1,383 

Mules 229 

Sheep 3,917 

Goats 500 

Hogs 437 

"The amount of grain raised: 

Wheat 30,000 bushels 

Barley 15,000 bushels 

Corn 7,000 bushels 

Oats 200 bushels 

52,200 bushels 
"There are seven saw-mills, six driven by water power and one by 
steam. There are two shingle-mills, which have cut during the season 
500,000 shingles. 

"1857. During the year of 1857, San Bernardino was visited by 
a number of severe earth-quakes which did considerable damage. The 
crops were only fair, owing to the draught, however, more barley and 
wheat was raised than the previous year. The Indians also attacked 
the settlement and the apostate Mormons were very busy trying to 
incite the public mind against the Mormon people at San Bernardino." 

Relations with the Gentiles 

Attracted by the richness and beauty of the valley and 
by the noted prosperity of the settlers, many Gentiles made 
their way into the settlement. Some of these had no doubt 
come dissapointed from the gold fields and others directly 
from the east or south. 

Almost from the arrival of these non-Mormons there 
arose a feeling of antagonism or jealousy between the two 
factions. This feeling was strongly emphasised in the rival 
celebrations of the Fourth of July, 1856. Of this event 
Ingersoll in his History of San Bernardino County says: 

"In 1856 the 'Independents,' as the party which was coming into 
opposition to the church party was called, decided to have a regular 
old-fashioned 'back-east' Fourth of July celebration. Accordingly a 
committee was appointed to make the arrangements for the affair, which 
was to be open to all — without regard to party lines. But the Church 
party at once announced their intention to celebrate the day without 

78 Historical Society of Southern California 

paying any attention to the move already underway. Naturally a 
rivalry between the two parties followed. The Independents procured 
a flag pole 60 feet high and erected it on the south side of Third Street. 
The other party procured a pole 100 feet high and put it up on the 
public plaza. The Independents procured a new flag and ran it up — 
the church people got a larger flag and hoisted it; the Independents 
erected a bowery covered with green brush and placed seats for an 
audience; their rivals set up a larger bowery with seats for a larger 
audience. On the great day the Third Street patriots organized an 
impromptu chorus which sang the patriotic songs, but the Mormons had 
secured a band of musical instruments which made more noise. The 
church party had also gotten together a mounted squad of some 25 or 
30 young men uniformed in red flannel shirts, black pantaloons and hats, 
who acted as escort for the officers of the day. Here they got the better 
of their competitors, who had no guard and no procession. But the 
church party fired salutes with a little brass cannon which the other 
party named the 'pop-gun,' while the Independents had a real cannon 
which made the mountains echo with its deep reports. 

"At the plaza an oration was delivered, which while fairly patriotic 
still took occasion to score the Government for its degeneracy, accord- 
ing to the ideas of Brigham Young's followers. 

"At Third Street, Q. S. Sparks, then well known as a brilliant 
speaker, delivered an oration picturing in glowing terms the past and 
the present glory of our nation — with a good-natured fling at those who 
drew off to observe the day by themselves. Although the Independents 
had the smaller following they enjoyed their celebration and their 
dinner, and felt that they had succeeded in carrying out their intentions. 
There was no disturbance or hard feelings, the people went back and 
forth between the two centers of interest, and the Church squad visited 
Third Street in a body and saluted their flag." 

The Return 

After six years of happy, prosperous life in the valley, 
Supreme President Brigham Young put into execution a 
probably preconceived determination to gather the Latter 
Day Saints nearer to the central and sacred city. The con- 
summation of the plan was further hastened by the fact 
that trouble had arisen between President Young's State of 
Deseret and the authorities of the United States. The quarrel 
had come to such a pass that United States troops had 
been ordered to Utah to inforce the laws of the United 
States. In order to make a showing of force, probably with 
little intention of actual resistence, Young ordered the 
faithful to rally in strength at Salt Lake City. As their 
history says, "Owing to the coming of Johnson's army, 
which threatened to destroy the people of Utah, most of 
the settlers of San Bernardino Valley left their homes for 
Utah. This year 1857 and the beginning of 1858 saw the 
complete evacuation of the San Bernardino Rancho." 

Of the 700 Mormons of San BernardinoValley, prob- 
ably 600 obeyed the call of President Young. Others who 
were Josephites chose rather to abide in the land they had 
colonized and where for the first time they had brought 
civilization, beauty and economic thrift to a vast country 

At the End of the Trail 79 

of unlimited possibilities and where a genial climate had 
bountifully rewarded their efforts. 

Those who obeyed the summons of their Supreme Presi- 
dent sold their property, accumulated by hard work and 
economy, at enormous sacrifices, — an improved farm for a 
camping outfit, a well furnished four-room house for $40, 
with a buggy, a cloak and a sack of sugar thrown in for 
good measure. 

In later years a number of those who obeyed the sum- 
mons to Salt Lake City returned to the beautiful valley of 
their earlier happiness and prosperity and their descend- 
ants in the faith are counted among our substantial citizens 

Social Life 

Between those of the Mormons who did not obey the 
recall to Salt Lake City and the other settlers of the Valley, 
there now sprang up a friendly community spirit. This 
feeling of neighborliness was first manifested in the organ- 
ization of a union Sunday School, which was attended by 
all creeds and factions. Socially this feeling was fostered 
by candy pullings, May parties, peach cuttings, apple par- 
ings and corn huskings. As the latter would grow monot- 
onous without the frequent red ear with its significant and 
privileged results, it is stated on good authority that some 
of the gallant swains planted red seed hoping to harvest 
a crop of red ears. The same authority further told me 
that one or two young men were often guilty of preparing a 
few ears before going to the parties by the lavish use of 
red ink. 

But the gathering of all gatherings was the Spelling 
School. In the rude school house of round logs they met 
regularly, and in the flickering yellow light of the tallow 
candles provided by each one, they received erudition from 
Webster's old blue-backed Elementary Spelling Book. 
When they had spelled down the proper number of times 
the boys "saw the girls home" under the glimmering stars 
and the moonbeams' silvery light, while the Arrowhead 
kept watch above his own. 

Dramatis Personae 

These annals would not be complete without the intro- 
duction of a few more of the sturdy men and women who 
played more than minor roles in this drama of real life. 

I have already mentioned Captain Jefferson Hunt, who 
has well been called the "Father of San Bernardino Col- 
ony." While serving in the State Legislature from Los 
Angeles County, of which San Bernardino Valley was then 

80 Historical Society of Southern California 

a part, he presented the bill for forming the County of 
San Bernardino, and thereafter represented the new county 
until his departure in obedience to the call from Salt Lake 
City. Three daughters, Mrs. Nancy Daley, now in the sun- 
set hours of life, Mrs. Harriet Mayfield, and Mrs. Sheldon 
Stoddard were among the best known and most loved 
women of San Bernardino. 

Sheldon Stoddard, born in 1830, passed away at his 
home in San Bernardino in May, 1919. He married a 
daughter of Jefferson Hunt in 1851, and the overland trip 
to San Bernardino Valley was their wedding tour. I am 
indebted to Mr. Stoddard through Mr. John Brown, Jr., 
for the story of the robbery noted above and here given to 
the public for the first time. 

Then there was Uncle Joe Hancock, whose grandfather, 
Henry Hancock, was a brother of John Hancock the first 
signer of the Declaration of Independence. Uncle Joe is 
now in his 97th year, active in body and with a mind as 
clear as a bell. I spent several hours with him a short 
time ago, listening to interesting accounts of the early 
events of his long life. He now lives with a daughter, Mrs. 
Lord, who cares for her aged father very tenderly. Mrs. 
Lord herself preserves those fine features and that dignity 
of carriage which time and again crowned her queen of 
the May Day festivals of the earlier days. 

A few years ago the Story of a Mormon Bishop and his 
son was written by the facile pen of Dr. H. W. Mills. Like 
Charlemagne the son has proven of more interest than the 
father, and we have with us George Miller, Jr., hunter, 
pathfinder, excellent story teller, singer of old time comic 
songs, orange grower and honored citizen. Mr. Miller as a 
hunter was a dead shot and has the distinction of alone 
killing the last and fiercest grizzly bear of the San Bernar- 
dino mountains. 

John Brown, Sr., early took a prominent part in the 
affairs of the settlement. He was elected one of the first 
Justices of the Peace, in 1853. In 1888 he became a charter 
member and organizer of the San Bernardino Society of 
California Pioneers. Mr. Brown, Sr., passed away about 
ten years ago and left to us the Noblest Roman of them all, 
John Brown, Jr., whom everybody loves and to whom I 
have been drawn as to an elder brother. He is the monitor 
of the pioneers of the valley and from him can be obtained 
authentic information on anything pertaining to the past 
or present history of the locality. For thirty years he has 
been the efficient secretary and life of the San Bernardino 
Society of California Pioneers. Every Saturday afternoon 

At the End of the Trail 81 

you will find him at the "Log House," where the society- 
meets. For his helpful suggestions and assistance, in gath- 
ering the material for this paper, I am very grateful. 

San Bernardino, San Jacinto and San Gorgonio moun- 
tain peaks, sublimely grand and faithful "Sentinels of the 
Valley," grim and silent, saw the valley emerge from prim- 
eval ocean or lake bed ; saw it lie through centuries deso- 
late and barren of life ; saw it gradually emerge from its 
desolation until, revelling in a wilderness of verdure, it 
laughed up at the cloudless sky as though intoxicated with 
the exhuberance of living. 

Civilized man followed savage man and harnessed na- 
ture to the plough of his needs. From the tangled wilder- 
ness of untamed beauty he developed an earthly paradise, 
for here nature and art combined to touch perfection. 
"They have cultivated the land until it teems with blossom 
and fruitage; they have dotted the valley with thriving 
cities and villages." 

And all this has been done within the memory of men 
still living among us. 

"The mountains can afford to wait for they know the 
possibilities of Time; but man, ever conscious of the brief- 
ness of his day, grows impatient and looks toward the elu- 
sive future for the fruition of his happiness." 

By Mrs. M. Burton Williamson 

(As the title may indicate this paper is written in a 
reminiscent mood and makes no claim to be a formal docu- 

With the rapid growth and educational development of 
Southern California, it is very gratifying to note that interest 
in our past history has become active and increases with 

Almost a quarter of a century ago Prof. Frank J. Polley, 
in his annual address before our Society, regretted the fact 
that so little interest was taken in the history of California, 
especially Southern California. H. H. Bancroft and his large 
corps of workers had been actively collecting historical and 
biographical data for his immense history and his agents 
had been busy getting subscribers for his complete works 
at so much a volume ; but, excepting this, historical interest 
was not much in evidence, aside from our Historical Society. 
The Historical Society of Southern California had been 
organized for the collection and preservation of data con- 
cerning the inception and development of events in the 
building of our State. 

It is encouraging to our members to know that the 
records of this Society are now in active demand by librar- 
ians, schools, and individual collectors of California history. 

Noah Levering and the late Professor James M. Guinn 
in our early publications have given us sketches of the 
founding of the Historical Society of Southern California 
in Los Angeles in the eighties. When I joined the Society 
in 1891, the active membership was small. At that time 
the monthly meetings were held in the court room of Police 
Judge Austin, on Second Street, near Spring Street. When 
Professor Ira More, Principal of the State Normal School 
in Los Angeles, had invited me to join the Society I hesi- 
tated, for I felt I knew too little concerning the history of 
California to become an active member; but he was willing 
to vouch for me and I had the great pleasure of meeting 
some of the able founders of this society at the meetings in 
the old court room. Here I met General John Mansfield, 
the Civil War veteran, H. D. Barrows, Col. George Butler 
Griffin, Judge E. Baxter, Major E. W. Jones, Very Rev. 
Father J. Adam, Vicar-General, Noah Levering, Dr. W. F. 


Glancing Backward 83 

Edgar, retired Army Physician and Surgeon, C. P. Borland 
and Professor James M. Guinn. At that time the Presidents 
had been Colonel J. J. Warner,^ General Mansfield, Isaac 
Kinley, Professor Ira More, H. D. Barrows, Major E, W. 
Jones and Professor James M. Guinn. Excepting Isaac Kin- 
ley I met all of them, as I have remarked. Colonel Warner 
had become blind so was not able to attend the meetings, 
but he welcomed any of the members at his home in Uni- 
versity Place, where he had with him Ex-Governor Pio 
Pico, at that time a well known figure in the little town. 

Colonel George Butler Griflfln was President of the So- 
ciety at the time I joined it. He had been employed by 
Bancroft in collecting historical data from Spanish manu- 
scripts and books written in Spain and America. He had 
been busy translating the Sutro documents for our Society: 
this work was issued as Vol. 2 of our Historical Annuals. 
As the question is sometimes asked why Col. Griffin's paper 
was issued as Part I, when no other part was published, I 
will give the reason. When the letters of Viscaino and 
others were translated Col. Griflin expected to translate 
manuscripts for another part, but did not receive the Sutro 
papers necessary to do it. Professor Guinn said he erased 
the words "Part I." from Volume 2. 

To return from this digression, B. A. Stephens, who had 
been one of Bancroft's corps of writers, was the Secretary. 
Don and Dona Coronel were enthusiastic members, al- 
though the Don was not able to attend the meetings; Miss 
Tessa L. Kelso, Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, 
was an active member and always alert to add historical 
works on California to the Library. As teachers in the 
public schools of Los Angeles, Miss Mary Foy and Miss 
Anna C. Murphy, wife of Edwin Markham, the poet, were 
factors in trying to interest pupils in the schools in local 
history, — the nucleus for the fine work done in our schools 

The present agitation concerning the exclusion of the 
Japanese from our shores is, by many of us, felt as a drastic 
measure provocative of race prejudice, and I recall the fact 
that among our members in the early nineties was P. W. 
Dooner the author of "Last Days of the Republic." One 
did not have to agree with the author in order to consider 
this book a remarkable one, written as it was in 1875, as 
a prophecy against the entrance of the oriental, more espe- 

1. "Jonathan Trumbull Warner or Juan Jos6 Warner, his middle name 
being changed to Jos4, as Trumbull was not easily pronounced in Spanish and 
It had no equivalent in that language." — H. D. Barrows, In Annual for 1S95. 

84 Historical Society of Southern California 

cially the Chinese, immigration into the United States. 
There was nothing in the looks nor manner of Mr. Dooner 
indicative of the pessimistic spirit of his book. Collectors 
of Californiana are still listing the work as a desideratum, 
although it has long been "out of print." In "Literary Cali- 
fornia" by Ella Sterling Mighels this book is wrongly listed 
as the work of "C. W. Donner," instead of P. W. or Pierton 
W. Dooner. 

The question of allowing the odorous tamale wagon to 
appear upon some of our streets reminds me that the first 
time I was able to eat a layer of one of these little hot 
edibles was after I had attended one of the late meetings 
of our Society at the old court room. As Mr. Williamson 
and I hurried along Second Street to get our street car we 
were chilled by a strong night breeze that swept down the 
street as though the air had been wafted through a tunnel 
in a hill of ice. As we nervously waited on the corner for 
our car the hot air that came from one of these little tamale 
wagons, with its steaming boiler of tamales, was very wel- 
come to us, in spite of the odor of onions; and when my 
husband proposed that we buy some tamales to eat when 
we got home I immediately assented to it. After our long, 
cold ride we thoroughly enjoyed our midnight luncheon of 
cooked cornmeal, cornbeef and Chile that we found rolled 
up in three sections in the steaming corn husks, for we had 
just longed for something hot, and we got it! 

As a member of the Historical Society I soon felt that 
the present time was a good one to collect data of all of 
the women's clubs and societies in Los Angeles; these to 
be written either by the President, or Secretary, of each 
club. In order to have excerpts from these papers read 
before the Historical Society it was necessary to have some 
large place of meeting for that purpose. Miss Kelso sug- 
gested the home of Don and Dona Coronel as most fitting 
for such a meeting, and I went with her to see Mrs. Coronel, 
who enthusiastically responded to our request and the re- 
sult was we had one of the most brilliant affairs of the 
season. Historic paintings lined the large rooms where we 
met, and curtained off from this suite of rooms was the 
Chapel (Oratoria) containing crucifixes and an image of 
the Virgin Mary and Child, heavily draped with rare gold 
embroidery, executed in Spain. The table at which Presi- 
dent More of the Historical Society presided was one that 
Governor Echeandia, the first Constitutional Governor, had 
used in 1824, while acting in his official duties. The ma- 
hogany table was later used by Santiago Arguello when he 
was Prefect of the city from 1839 to 1840. Another table 

Glancing Backward 85 

at the left of President More, used by the reporters, was 
one for which Don Coronel had traded a horse; for the 
former one, three cows had been exchanged. 

Instead of a gavel Dona Coronel had provided a bell 
used by Father Tomas Estenego in 1839, to call the Mission 
Indians to prayers at the San Gabriel Mission. Over the 
mantel behind the President, was a large engraving "The 
Declaration of Independence" with our National Flag draped 
on one side; below this on the mantel, was a picture of 
Governor Manuel Micheltorena of California, also historic 
brass candlesticks and images from a buried city in Mexico. 
To attempt to enumerate the articles that furnished the 
rare setting for this meeting would tire you, but I am 
tempted to quote from Harris Newmark's rare book, "Sixty 
Years in Southern California," some of his accounts of this 
unique gathering of Spanish and American residents of the 
city: "An open meeting of the Historical Society was held 
on March 28 at the resident of Don Antonia and Dona 
Mariana Coronel, near the corner of Central Avenue and 
Seventh Street. Three hundred guests assembled to enjoy 
the proverbial Spanish hospitality of this distinguished 
couple and to hear the reports of the activities of various 
Los Angeles Societies. Don Antonia possessed, as is well 
known, valuable historical and ethnological collections; and 
some of his choicest curios were that evening placed at the 
service of his guests." 

Through the influence of Miss Kelso the street car com- 
pany ran extra cars for that evening and held some of them 
until a late hour — as you know this was before the days of 
the automobile service in Los Angeles. Although the papers 
had been limited to three minutes each, the hour of leaving 
was late, for the time seemed ripe to Miss Kelso to try to 
interest all California in the historic missions; so upon a 
screen, some pictures of the old missions taken by a local 
photographer, C. C. Pierce, were shown after the reading 
of the papers. C. P. Dorland introduced this subject. Later 
on, Charles F. Lummis organized the Landmarks' Club for 
the preservation of the Missions, using these Mission 

I may add, in passing, as the Historical Society had not 
the necessary funds to publish all the data of the Women's 
clubs at that time, I bound the manuscripts in one volume. 
The papers had all been written on one side only, on paper 
of a uniform size. The Publishing Committee of the His- 
torical Society in its Annual Publication says of the "History 
of Ladies' Clubs and Societies in Los Angeles:" "They form 
a book of 172 pages of valuable historical matter." 

86 Historical Society of Southern California 

It is to be regretted that the Society lacked the funds to 
publish historical data outside of its own Annuals, for, in 
the present activity for Californiana such works would add 
greatly to our value as a conservator of history. A manu- 
script may be very valuable to a Bibliophile, but, unless 
published, its contents are hidden and history is the loser. 
We now possess a MS. volume written by a California Judge 
who died in 1875, at San Luis Obispo. It contained 138 
pages of foolscap, in the form of a dairy. Another valuable 
manuscript was offered, at my solicitation, for publication, 
by our Society; but, very much to my regret, it was not 
accepted for publication. I do not feel that I would be 
justified in giving the name of the writer of this very valu- 
able autobiography, covering events that occurred during 
the first half of the last century. As publishers are now 
keen to get such manuscripts I am not sure that the present 
owner would be willing to allow us to issue the work. 

I refer to these facts to show that we needed to publish, 
as well as collect and preserve, history for our archives. 

In 1896 the Rev. Father J. Adam invited our Society to 
hold a meeting at the parochial residence of Bishop Mont- 
gomery, at 118 East Second Street. As this November 
meeting was an open one, there was a large attendance. 
The number of old portraits of the Catholic Fathers that 
outlined the walls of the large audience room added an 
unique as well as historical setting for the meeting. 

As our President Professor Frank J. Polley had resigned 
the office, in the early summer, to accept the chair of His- 
tory at Leland Stanford Junior University, it devolved upon 
me to preside. At the close of the meeting Father Adam 
congratulated me upon being the first woman to occupy 
the Bishop's chair, at St. Vibiana, during a meeting. Al- 
though I was President until the end of the year, no mention 
of the fact appears in our Annuals.^ 

The Rev. Father J. Adam was at that time Vicar-Gen- 
eral of the Diocese of Monterey and Los Angeles. He was 
a native of Barcelona, Spain, and, I was told, belonged to 
an old aristocratic family of that place. Father Adam had 
translated some of Palou's work for the use of readers 
ignorant of the Spanish language. It was not intended as 
more than a little volume of extracts upon the life of Juni- 
pera Serra. We think of the Rev. Father Francis Palou's 
work only in connection with his letters concerning Juni- 

2. Through an oversight my name did not appear in Vol. III. as President 
during the latter half of the year 1896, and In an article In Parts 1-11, Vol. IX, 
giving a list of the past Presidents, the error of omission was repeated. 

Glancing Backward 87 

pero Serra, but he also wrote upon California, and at a 
meeting of our Society in 1886, Father Adam read a paper 
upon "California in the Eighteenth Century," founded upon 
the fourth volume of Palou's work, entitled "Noticias de le 
nueve California", and called attention to the fact that this 
had been translated and published by the California Histori- 
cal Society of San Francisco through the generosity of 
Joseph A. Donahue, who had spent several thousand dollars 
for the printing of one hundred copies. 

The question of the plaza as a possible site for the 
Union Depot reminds me that Father Adam once wrote he 
had seen a statement that the Plaza had been used as a 
cemetery; but he said if that were true it must have been 
before 1824, for, "when the Pueblo of Los Angeles was 
established in 1781, for many years burials took place in 
the Mission of San Gabriel." 

Father Adam returned to Barcelona but still kept up 
his interest in our Society, for he hoped to return some time 
to California, After receiving one of our Annuals contain- 
ing an article upon Santa Catalina Island, he wrote: "Some 
of the happiest days of my life have been spent upon that 
little Island." 

Early in the summer of 1906, while en route to Los 
Angeles, Father Adam was taken sick, and to our sincere 
sorrow, died in a hospital in London. 

I have alluded to the fact that in 1891 our Society held 
its meetings in Judge Austin's court room. We held our 
monthly meetings there until 1896, when we began the 
migratory life. This was our place of meeting, but our 
collections of books, papers, magazines and curios were 
stored elsewhere. In 1891 they were stored in the fourth 
story of the new Court House, but when our lease from the 
Supreme Court expired we had to move our large collection. 
Professor Guinn in "Twenty-five Years of Local History 
Work," Vol VII, Parts II-III, has given a very interesting 
report of the tribulations of the Society in trying to care 
for its vast collections before they were finally moved to 
Exposition Park Museum building. 

The recent change of the name "Sunset," to "Lafayette 
Park," reminds me that at one time I tried to have the 
name "Sunset" changed as I felt it was misleading, since 
we had Sunset Boulevard in the northwestern part of the 
city going toward Hollywood, while this little park was in 
the Westlake district bounded by Wilshire Boulevard on 
the south and Sixth Street on the north, while Benton Way 
and Commonwealth Avenue ran east and west of it. I had 
seen the beginning of this park as a very unsightly depres- 

88 Historical Society of Southern California 

sion, merely the dumping ground for old tin cans, and other 
rubbish, for residents of that part of the city. After Mrs. 
Clara R. Shatto donated the eight or ten acres, included in 
the park ground, to the city for a Park, the unsightly hole 
became a beautiful green sunken garden. 

As I said, I had long felt that the name should be 
changed, and so in April, 1907, I wrote to the Park Com- 
missioner asking if the name could be changed to "Coronel 
Park." I also wrote to "The Times" giving the following 
reasons in favor of the name Coronel : "It is euphonius, and 
the name belonged to one who did much to bring the Span- 
ish and Americans into a closer acquaintance. Coronel was 
Mayor of Los Angeles in 1853 and State Treasurer in 1867 
to 1871. When Helen Hunt Jackson was here collecting 
data for her v^^ork upon the Pacific Coast she was assisted 
in every way by Don and Dona Coronel, by introductions to 
Spanish families, and by visits to Indian and Mexican towns. 
Don Coronel acted as interpreter for Mrs. Jackson and was 
ever alert to carry out her wishes. When she wished to 
visit a typical California ranch with its chapel as she was 
contemplating writing her now famous "Ramona", it was 
the Coronels who gave her a letter of introduction to the 
mistress of a typical Spanish home, Senora Del Valle of 
Comulus. Although Senora Del Valle was not at home Mrs. 
Jackson was shown every courtesy and given the informa- 
tion she desired, by all at Comulus, which has since become 
a classic name in Southern California. "Then again, the 
ethnological collection which the Coronels had collected 
had been donated to the city through the Chamber of Com- 

For these reasons I was in favor of giving the name 
Coronel to the quaint little garden of greenery. In a letter 
from General H. G. Otis, he said : "I do not favor changes 
in the names of streets and parks without some controlling 
reason therefor. To change names too frequently, or with- 
out cogent reasons for the change, has a tendency to un- 
settle things on the records, and in the minds of the public. 
I have no objection to the name Coronel in the event that 
a change should be made in the name of Sunset Park. Don 
Antonio, or Senor Coronel, by either or both of these titles 
he was known, was a useful citizen, with historic associa- 
tions surrounding his name and family." 

The introduction of the "one-man" street car service in 
our city recalls the old rocking horse days of the mule and 
horse car service. In those days our car often "jumped 
the track," and then it would take the combined aid of all 
the male passengers to set the car back on the track. As 
the ciity drainage was in its infancy, the streets were in a 

Glancing Backward 89 

fearful condition just after our rains, but, the street car 
drivers, or conductors, were very considerate and when 
passengers wanted to get upon their cars they waited for 
them. One evening when the car was near Washington 
Gardens — Washington and Main Streets — a large woman 
as she reached her destination, looked in dismay toward the 
conductor. "Madame," he said, "I will carry you to the 
sidewalk," and, suiting his actions to his word, he labor- 
iously lifted her from the car step, she, all the time stoutly 
protesting against it. He was a rather small man and as 
her immense size and her strong will were pitted against 
him, before he reached the sidewalk down he went with 
his burden into the running water, much to her disgust and 
his amazement, while the passengers roared with laughter 
at the sudden downfall. But he was equal to the occasion 
and landed the woman safely on the walk while he rather 
shame-facedly returned to his car amid the shouts of the 
jolly passengers. As the roads were often very hard upon 
the horses or mules, the drivers changed them at Washing- 
ton and Main streets. 

There used to be a car that ran out First Street to Silver 
Lake Park, just below Judge J. W. Mitchell's fine resi- 
dence, on First and Vermont. This was the line that con- 
nected with a little dummy running out to Hollywood. After 
alighting from the car, passengers would patiently stand 
under the trees, often for a long time, waiting for the ar- 
rival of the welcome dummy. 

There was another dummy branch line that was used to 
carry passengers from the regular train to Wilmington and 
San Pedro, to Long Beach; this little car met the train a 
few miles from Long Beach. As this dummy car often re- 
quired the assistance of the male passengers to start it the 
line was popularly known as the "G. O. P." line, this mean- 
ing, "Get Out and Push." In this use of the now popular 
abbreviation, Southern California was ahead of the Repub- 
lican party in its G. O. P. for "Grand Old Party." 

It may be news to our members of today, to learn that 
Dona Coronel once offered a lot for a historical building 
on Seventh Street adjoining her own home. This was not 
considered a very accessible site for a historical building, so 
the offer was not accepted. Later on another offer was 
made by the widow of a former member of our Society, but 
as this lot was on Figueroa, just south of Washington Street, 
this offer was held in abeyance on account of its being too 
far out. As I lived, at that time, out in University Place, I 
very naturally was enthusiastically in favor of the site, al- 
though no one appreciated what a fine donation this gift 
would be in the future. 

90 Historical Society of Southern California 

But if we did not accept these building sites the His- 
torical Society was at no time unmindful of the need of a 
building for our accommodation. For several years it had 
tried hard to get an appropriation from the State for this 
purpose and Walter R. Bacon, Esquire, our President for 
several years, had worked hard for it. Mr. Bacon is now 
an attorney-at-law at San Francisco and at my request has 
written in re the efforts of the Historical Society toward 
getting a State Historical building in Los Angeles: "My 
recollection is," he writes: "that, in conference with Mr. 
Guinn, and certain State officials, I drew a bill providing 
for a State building at Los Angeles, that would house the 
State officers having offices there, including the Supreme 
Court, and would also provide room for a historical museum 
and assembly and office room for the Southern California 
Historical Society. I don't remember the member of the 
assembly having charge of the bill, but I believe it was Mr. 
P. A. Stanton. I had the promise of Governor George C. 
Pardee, that he would sign the bill if passed." 

"Mr. Guinn and I both went to Sacramento, and, as I 
recollect it, got it through the house, but, upon an intimation 
from the Governor that he was not in favor of it, because 
of the expense, it got no further. This must have been done 
at the 1905 session of the legislature. Of course we prac- 
tically had the backing of the entire Los Angeles delega- 
tion, at the time, and I think Mr. Cornelius Pendleton, 
whether a member or not, helped us on it." I believe the 
amount asked for was only one hundred and twenty-five 
thousand dollars. I remember one evening when we met 
at Mr. Bacon's house to congratulate ourselves upon the 
passage of the bill we were met with a telegram: the bill 
had not passed ! 

Los Angeles, Cal., Oct. 19, 1920. 

Annual Publications 91 


Annual Publications of the Historical Society of 
Southern California 

The Historical Society of Southern California is plac- 
ing on the market its surplus stock of Publications. These 
Publications are in the Eleventh Volume, each volume, as 
a rule, composing three Parts, or Annual Reports. The 
earlier numbers of the Annual Report have not been avail- 
able for years. The Society is, hov^ever, now able to offer 
a limited number of sets complete from 1891 to 1919 in- 
clusive. Libraries and learned institutions will be given 
the preference. Volume I is entirely out of print. All 
prices are subject to change without notice. 

List of Volumes 

Vol.1: 1886 (43 pp.), 1887 (55 pp.), 1888-89 (55 pp.),, 1890 (51 pp.), 1891 
(45 pp.). Out of print. 

Vol.11: 1891 (1892) (213 pp.). Sutro Documents; contain Spanish origi- 
nals, with translations, of 19 documents, 1584-1774. $2.00. 

Vol. Ill: 1893 (88 pp.), 1894 (77 pp.), 1895 (62 pp.), 1896 (87 pp.). $4.00. 
Articles on Portola, Jedediah Smith, California missions, Plo Pico, 
Chinese massacres of 1871. 

Vol. IV: 1897 (99 pp.), 1898 (89 pp.), 1899 (96 pp.). $3.00. Numerous 
articles by J. M. Guinn, sketches of pioneers, famous gold rushes, 

Vol.V: 1900 (95 pp.), 1901 (110 pp.), 1902 (104 pp.). $3.00. Mexican 
governors, pioneer sketches, Pony Express,, camel caravans, Pana- 
ma route, etc. 

Vol. VI: 1903 (101 pp.), 1904, (86 pp.), 1905 (54 pp.). $3.00. Catalina 
Island, U. S. governors of California, days of '49, pioneer sketches. 

Vol. VII: 1906 (98 pp.), 1907-08 (118 pp.). $3.00. Early California indus- 
tries, California place-names, San Jacinto (Cal.) Indians, Pauma 
massacre, Cal. verse of c. 1850. 

Vol. VIII:: 1909-10 (140 pp)., 1911 (101 pp.). $3.00. Work of H. H. Ban- 
croft, Crabbe's Filibusters, Gold placers of Los Angeles, etc. 

Vol. IX:: 1912-13 (158 pp.), 1914 (99 pp.). $3.00. Calendar of Pioneer 
Princes, California and the Civil War, Chinese Exclusion, Anti- 
Japanese legislation, etc. 

Vol. X: 1915-16 (132 pp.), 1917 (176 pp.). $3.00. Inaugural Address, 

L.A. Journalism, Real Estate Boom of 1887, selected historical 

sources,, A mormon bishop and his son, John Bidwell, Historical 
work of J. M. Guinn, etc. 

92 Historical Society of Southern California 

Vol. XI: Part I: 1918 (107 pp.). $1.00. French expansion on the Pacific, 
Frontier presidios, Education in early California, Beet sugar indus- 
try, Communistic colony Llano del Rio, etc. 

Part II: 1919 (92 pp.). $1.00. History of Anaheim, Early California 
Journalists, Senator Bard and the Arizona-New Mexico Statehood 
Controversy, A Trip to Death Valley, The Conquest of Los Angeles, 

Prices of Sets 

A very few sets, complete from 1891 to 1919 inclusive, will be offered to 
libraries for a limited time, at $30.00 

Five sets, 1892-1919, inclusive, at 28.00 

Address all orders to 

Historical Society of Southern California, 

Los Angeles, California. 
Care of University of Southern CaHfornia. 

Organized November 1, 1883 


Incorporated February 12, 1891 


H istorical S ociety 





Organized Novemier 1, 1883 

Incorporated February 12, 1891 


H istorical S ociety 






Officers of the Historical Society _ 4 

The Henry E. Huntington Library, George Watson Cole, L.HLD. 24 

Thomas R. Bard and Ventura County's Sheep Industry, 1870- 

1884 - Waldemar Westergaard. Ph.D. 5 

History of Temescal Valley _ Rose L. Ellerbe 12 

Document: San Jacinto and Temescal. From unpublished man- 
script by Benjamin Hayes, Bancroft Collection 21 

Reminiscences of San Gabriel Mrs. Laura King 58 

Japan and Korea Since 1910 Clarence V. Gilliland, A.M., D.D. 47 

The Committees of Vigilance of California 

_ Rockwell D. Hunt, Ph.D. 30 

A Little Girl in Old California Mrs. Sarah Bixby Smith 63 


of the 

Historical Society of Southern California 



Rockwell D. Hunt President 

Waldemar Westergaard First Vice-President 

Robert C. Cleland Second Vice-President 

M. C. Bettinger Treasurer 

Mabel Guinn Secretary 


Rockwell D. Hunt George F. Bovard 

Waldemar Westergaard Roy Malcom 

M. C. Bettinger Robert G, Cleland 

Mabel Guinn 

INDUSTRY, 1870-1884 


California's pastoral age is a time to conjure with. The vast 
ranchos strectching for leagues over hills and valleys, owned by 
landed potentates who little dreamed of the vast resources lying 
undeveloped at their feet, the sleepy towns with their missions and 
Indians on the one hand, and their landed aristocracy gathered 
within their precincts on the other, are indeed a far cry from fruit 
groves and truck gardens, from oil fields and hydraulic gold dig- 
gings, from concrete roads and myriad autos, from factory whistles 
and electric trains. We properly associate the rancheros and 
vaqueros with the Spanish and Mexican period of California's his- 
tory ; yet it takes a certain mental effort to conceive of our American 
founders of California, our Bidwells and Sutters, Blanchards and 
Bards, as owners of vast herds of cattle, horses and sheep. But our 
intensive agricultural life did not come into existence at a bound 
when the Gringoes came. The Americans were obliged to build on 
the economic foundations laid by the Spaniards and Mexicans 
among whom they settled. The hides and tallow piled on the Santa 
Barbara wharf, which Dana describes in his "Two Years Before the 
Mast," did not cease being important simply because of the Ameri- 
can conquest. 

It is my purpose in this paper to describe the state of affairs in 
Ventura County at this transitional period, and to do this I shall 
present the situation largely as it is revealed by the archives of the 
late Senator Thomas R. Bard, who came to California at the close 
of the Civil War to look after the oil interests of his Philadelphia 
employer, Col. Thomas A. Scott, but who used the sheep-raising 
business as a means of livelihood when the oil prospects looked 
uncertain, and before men had discovered the possibilities of inten- 
sive agriculture. 

Sheep and cattle were the bases of Spanish and Mexican eco- 
nomic life. Alexander Forbes, whose book on California was 
published in 1839, informs his readers that in 1831 California had 
in its four "jurisdictions" of San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Bar- 
bara, and San Diego 153,000 sheep, 216,000 "black" cattle (the only 
kind he mentions), and 32,000 horses. Of the one hundred and 
fifty-odd thousand sheep only 12 per cent, or 18,600, were in the 
Santa Barbara "jurisdiction," which extended as far south as the 
"Town of la Reyna de los Angeles." The latter was credited with 
no sheep, but with 38,000 cattle. 

6 Historical Society of Southern California 

With the rapid settlement that followed upon the gold rush, we 
arc not surprised to find the figures for sheep immigration mounting 
rapidly. The early woolly aUens came mainly from Mexico. A 
considerable number arrived during the years 1849-51. In 1852, 
according to Bancraft, 40,000 were imported, and some were sold at 
$16.00 a head. In 1853 the number had more than trebled (135,000) 
and the price dropped tO' $9.00. Five years later, namely, in 1858, 
the figures reach 376,000, and the price drops down to less than 
$3.50. After 1860 the traffic stopped, California apparently having 
become sheep saturated. 

But the wool that grew on these alien backs was short and 
coarse, so with the increasing competition, enterprising Americans 
began to consider improving the breed. Sheep and cattle have 
always been considered proper subjects for the application of 
eugenic principles. Col. W. W. HoUister is credited by Bancroft 
with introducing the first American sheep in 1853. He later became 
one of the sheep barons of Santa Barbara County, to whom the 
lesser lords of the industry hearkened as to one speaking with 
especial authority. 

The business of raising sheep had in it a good deal of the fasci- 
nation and the risks of speculation. In 1863-64 a terrific drought 
struck California, and the cattle industry was in danger of being 
wiped out. The cattle man's extremity was the sheep man's oppor- 
tunity, for the latter's flock increased at the annual rate of over 80 
per cent, and with two clippings yielded over seven pounds of wool 
from ewes and wethers when the average yield elsewhere in the 
United States was only four. A veritable hirsute triumph for sunny 

However, there were flies in the ointment, and like the great 
symbol of patience, Job, "the greatest of all the men of the east," 
whose "substance," it will be recalled, "also was 7,000 sheep," the 
patience of the sheep rancher was frequently taxed. There were 
other and more material taxes that will be mentioned later. By 
1867, when our particular story begins, the subdivision of the 
ranchos was pretty well under way. At this time agitation was 
beginning to reach the state legislature looking towards laws 
designed to make the sheep and cattle ranchers, instead of the farm- 
ers, fence in their lands or ernder themselves liable for trespass. 
The day of the farmer was at hand. Gradually the sheep men 
were obliged to withdraw to the remoter hillsides and canyons 
where feed was scarcer and water supply was more dependent 
upon natural resources. Burrs from the alfileria on which they 
fed got into the wool and lowered its quality, and the sands picked 
up in the river bottoms during the long dry season increased its 
weight. An important question for raisers and for dealers in wool 

Thomas R. Bard and Ventura County's Sheep Industry 7 

was whether the soil thus acquired by the sheep should be shipped 
over the brand-new transcontinental lines, or left in California. 

Ventura County, which was separated from Santa Barbara 
County after the close of 1872, was still largely "Spanish" in speech 
and population when Thomas R. Bard arrived in California in 
1865, and indeed for several years thereafter. The ranchos on 
which Mr, Bard and his associates mainly carried on their sheep 
raising enterprises were ranchos Los Posas and Simi. The title 
to Simi was based on three Mexican grants, from 1795 to 1845, the 
third being made by Governor Alvarado to Jose de la Guerra y 
Noriega in 1842, and approved by the Mexican Assembly in 1845 ; 
that to Rancho Los Posas was made to de la Guerra by Governor 
Figueroa in 1834. The Los Posas was surveyed by Stow as con- 
taining 26,245 acres; the Simi, 114,693 acres; together constituting 
an area of about 188 square miles, or more than live townships. 
The land communication with this region was by a stage line that 
ran from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, and thence to San Fran- 
cisco, carrying passengers at twenty cents a mile, just twice the 
railroad and four times the steamer rates in 1868. When the roads 
were dusty and the tide was out, the stage drivers frequently sought 
the beach to the delight of the passengers. 

Among the tracts owned by Thomas A. Scott and managed by 
Mr. Bard were the Calleguas and Colonia ranchos, the former of 
6,400 acres, the latter, 13,954.^ In the year 1866-67 these were 
assessed at what was considered by the interested parties at the 
exorbitant rate of fifty cents an acre. The tax rate was $3.13 per 
$100, and the amount for which payment was refused was $336.34. 
Before descending into further detail, it might be of interest to hear 
the names of a few of Ventura's sheep ranchers of the seventies. 
With Mr. Bard were associated Messrs. J. P. Green (still living and 
a vice-president of the Pennsylvania Railroad), Logan Kennedy, a 
boyhood acquaintance of Mr, Bard, a picturesque character who 
wore a broad-brimmed Stetson, a mustache and long goatee, a bril- 
liant flowing necktie, and a check suit, and who was given the title, 
half in jest, of the "handsomest man in Ventura County";^ J. R. 
Erringer, San Francisco representative of the Pennsylvania Rail- 
road; Charles E. Hoar, nephew of Senator George F. Hoar of 
Massachusetts ; Nathan Blanchard, who became a leading citizen 
of Santa Paula and of Southern California; E. P. Foster, later 
president of Ventura National Bank, and donor of "Foster Park," 
and numbers of Spanish, French, and Basque sheepmen. 

1. From an undated memorandum in Bard MSS. Inasmuch as C. H. Thompson's map 
of Sept., 1867, filed with the Surveyor General July 17, 1871, shows 44,833.30 acres for Colonia, 
the above figures may refer to Scott's personal interest. 

2. In a letter to Erringer dated May 31, 1873, Mr. Bard wrote: "Kennedy desires me to 
renterober kim to you and to tell you that he has sobered up and has joined the Women's Crti- 

8 Historical Society of Southern California 

After the drought of 1863-64 there was a succession of fairly 
favorable years in Southern California. During the early seventies 
the demand for leases of sheep land was very persistent. A 
Dubuque, Iowa, shoe merchant, one W. P. Large, wrote to Mr. 
Bard in January, 1873, after his return from a visit to southern 
California. After explaining that he had visited "the celebrated 
sheep man. Colonel Hollister," he quoted the colonel as saying that 
"no man can make sheep growing profitable on grazing lands at the 
price you place on the grazing portion of Catiada Larga (viz., $4.50 
an acre). He figures the profit on sheep at $1.37 per head per 
annum, counting nothing for grazing, and admitting that the portion 
you offer me would carry 3000 sheep ... a liberal estimate, 
the grazing of them would cost 85 cents per head at 10 per cent 
interest, leaving as net profit each 50 cents a head, or not over 15 
per cent on the investment . . ." With money worth one and 
one-half to two per cent per month, Mr. Large considered such 
an investment poor paying business, and $1.50 to $2.50 per acre 
all that sheep grazing lands warranted, though he thought he might 
be willing to pay about $5.00 currency per annum for 6,566 acres 
of Cannada Larga. These negotiations naturally fell thru, but land 
sufficient to pasture 1000 sheep could be leased in the autumn of the 
panic year of 1873 for $300 per annum. By December, 1873, Mr. 
Bard reported to an Anaheim correspondent that "our country is 
filled with sheep and many farmers have not yet succeeded in secur- 
ing ranges." 

But Mr. Bard was not putting all his eggs in one basket. While 
Mr. Kennedy was on the hills looking after their sheep interests, 
Mr. Bard was directing the development of Hueneme port, whence 
he hoped to divert the Owens River trade away from Los Angeles. 
In September of 1873 he and his associates shipped a cargo of barley 
direct to Iquique, Peru, a venture which he hoped would be the 
beginning of a direct trade thither, dreams that were not to be 

The panic does not seem to have hit the sheep business as hard 
as might have been expected. Drought was worse than panics. At 
any rate, in July of 1874, Mr. Bard, replying to a Philadelphia party 
who had inquired, offered to deliver 1500 to 2000 good graded 
ewes at $3.25, gold, per head, after the fall shearing. The cus- 
tomary terms on which men of capital participated in the sheep 
business were that the owner was "entitled to one-half of the wool 
clear of all incumbrances of taxes or what else," leaving the 
manager what he could clear net from the other half. In the sum- 
mer of 1874, Mr. Bard, Logan Kennedy, and J. R. Erringer joined 
in a sheep-raising enterprise on the Los Posas rancho previously 
described. Their joint property consisted of 11,288 sheep of all 

Thomas R. Bard and Ventura County's Sheep Industry 9 

sizes and ages, 45 rams, about 100 goats, two horses and equipment, 
a house, stable, and tents. The success of Messrs. Bard and Ken- 
nedy in the season of 1874, when a capable Basque had charge of 
their flock, seems to have encouraged them to ask Mr. Erringer 
to join. 

Just at this point it might prove of interest to quote a few pas- 
sages from the printed description that appeared in 1874 on the 
back of the stationery of the Santa Clara House at San Buena- 
Ventura. "Southern CaHfornia," it is here affirmed, "is the sheep 
raiser's paradise. Hundreds of thousands of sheep graze upon our 
foothills and valley lands, and there is room for thousands more. 
Foot rot and the fatal diseases are not prevalent here." The coun- 
ty's population was stated as 5,500, "a large majority of which is 
American" ; they alluded to the "glorious beauties" of the climate, 
and declared that "Ventura County has the best and most extensive 
wheat lands ... in Southern California." Improved farms 
could be bought for from $20 to $35 an acre ; grazing lands at $2 to 
$5. Wheat for the past year averaged $1.00 per bushel, barley 62^ 
cents, potatoes and com 75 cents each. Milk cows sold at from $30 
to $50, and sheep at $2 to $4 per head. "Our market is, of course, 
San Francisco, to which our produce is shipped by steamers." In 
1873, a dry year and unfavorable, 250,000 hundred-pound sacks of 
barley and considerable wheat was shipped from Hueneme to San 
Francisco. The freight rate by steamer was $1.50 a ton. 

To return to the Bard-Kennedy-Erringer venture. Early in the 
game they bought an additional flock of 1278 sheep from one 
Houston, and incidentally they put in nearly 300 acres to wheat. In 
April of 1875, 12,000 sheep yielded a cUp of about 55,000 pounds, 
or nearly four and one-half pounds per sheep at a single clip. The 
sales of wool were managed by Mr. Erringer at the San Francisco 
end. Whereas, in 1875 they were holding out for sixteen and 
eighteen cents a pound for the sheep on the hoof, early in 1876, 
when they were ready to sell a band that had been driven to Soledad, 
they were happy to take seven to seven and one-half cents per pound 
for the best sheep, and three to four cents for the inferior ones. 

This was a hard blow, and one result was Mr. Kennedy's with- 
drawal from the management of the business after a solemn 
conference in March, 1876. In January, 1877, when the price of 
mutton was down to three and a quarter to four cents a pound, 
California was clearly overdoing the sheep business. Butchers were 
reporting in San Francisco that up the Sacramento River there 
were 20,000 sheep ready for the San Francisco market. After the 
1876 experience, when Mr. Bard and his associates ran behind in 
their venture, they placed another man, A. W. Browne, in charge. 
But the worst was yet to come — 1877 was to provide one of the 

10 Historical Society of Southern California 

severest droughts in the history of the grazing industry in California. 
In March, 1877, Mr. Bard wrote to his partner, Mr. Erringer, as 
follows : 

"I'm scared worse than ever. Colonia won't help us as 
much as I had thought. Don't believe we can get sheep to 
Nevada without greater expense than we can stand. . . . 
Have brought the wethers and fall lambs and all the early 
spring lambs here near Hueneme where I will nurse them 

"Browne has killed all the other spring lambs. . . ." 

Then began a strenuous campaign to salvage what they could 
from the wreck. They decided to dispose of about 10,000 of their 
band and try to carry 12,000 through the winter on the Colonia 
rancho near Hueneme. Four thousand five hundred spring lambs — 
"poor innocents," Mr. Bard calls them — had to be killed at once, 
and as many as possible of the live sheep sent to San Francisco 
via the coast steamers ("Senator," etc.), which arranged to take 
four to five hundred at a time. They were finally obliged to reduce 
the number* they would attempt to carry over to a little less than 
6,000. A price of thirteen to fourteen cents a pound for the wool 
saved them from the worst, for the San Francisco sales came to 
nearly 170,000 pounds in April, 1877. This probably included the 
clip from other bands. Nevertheless, Mr. Bard had been hard 
enough hit to force him to confess that he was "hard up" and had 
to "borrow money to meet his obligations." The ravages of scab 
added to their expense and trouble. The fall clip was rushed to 
San Francisco in October and November, when Mr. Bard and his 
associates needed the cash. There were 94 bales of it, weighing 
36,200 pounds, but the price had fallen to ten cents. 

"... I can't see how we are to run along from this 
time on," is Mr. Bard's word to Mr. Erringer towards the 
end of 1877. "Our bank will not carry us any longer and 
[I] haven't money to put up. Taxes and rent due and 
nothing to pay them with, and I am crowded on every side. 
A miracle such as a heavy rain only will save us. Yours 
however faithfully, . . ." 

How admirably those three words, "Yours however faithfully," 
reflected the character of the resourceful, indomitable pioneer! 

In the spring of 1878 the sheep situation brightened perceptibly, 
when they could sell 45,816 pounds at thirteen cents a pound, for 
$6,329.73. But, for the smaller fall clip of 39,000 pounds, they only 
secured nine cents. Just a year later, in 1879, over 250 bales 
brought fifteen cents a pound. The violent fluctuations must have 
ruined many perfectly sound sets of nerves! 

Thomas R. Bard and Ventura County's Sheep Industry U 

At the close of 1880 the partnership between Mr. Bard and Mr. 
Erringer came to an end. Presently a group of men under Mr. 
Bard's lead organized another sheep-raising enterprise for Los 
Posas and part of the Simi rancho. Mr. Bard himself took eighteen 
out of thirty-two parts; the rest was divided among D. T. Perkins, 
later an associate of Mr. Bard in the oil business ; Barker Gummere, 
a Philadelphia banker; John P. Green, also of Philadelphia, and a 
few others. This "sheep pool," ewes, wethers, bucks, old and young, 
totalled 25,738 sheep, and ended in 1884. The hardest times were 
happily past and the pool was apparently successful, for there seems 
to have been about $20,000 worth of assets to divide, besides the 
profits from the sales of wool. Perhaps the reader will recall how 
"the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning," 
for, besides camels and oxen, he had fourteen thousand sheep — and 
a soul purified and strengthened by his misfortunes. 

The development of intensive agriculture and the finding of oil 
in certain localities was to make the lands that had been acquired 
during the lean years of precarious sheep grazing and slim grain 
farming among the most valuable lands in the state that were not 
devoted to orchards. 

Many were the tribulations to which these persevering and 
devoted sons of Southern California were subject, but we must not 
forget that the material prosperity of recent years, the abounding 
evidences we see on all sides of man's success in subduing the forces 
of a capricious Nature, are largely the result of the sort of hardi- 
hood, resourcefulness, and courage in the face of obstacles that was 
exhibited by Thomas R. Bard and some of his associates in the 
experiences to which I have just alluded. Such experiences are 
likely to make or break a man's character. Mr. Bard's abiding 
faith in the land of his adoption, his absolute dependability, his 
ability to inspire in others the sense of duty that he felt within 
himself, his resourcefulness and cheerful optimism, his willingness 
to make personal sacrifices for his friends and his community, were 
qualities which those who knew Mr. Bard best were the first to 
recognize. Contact with the career of men of such heroic mould 
renews our faith in human nature, and should make us jealous to 
conserve the heritage they had so great a part in winning, shaping 
and preserving. 



In the history of our planet, a century of time is but a breath ; 
yet we of today find it almost impossible to visualize the life of our 
forerunners of a hundred years ago, or to understand the conditions 
of their daily living, much less the spirit that animated them. In 
a way, the history of the Temescal valley is typical of that of many 
another obscure comer of California. During the slow-rolling 
years it has passed through many changes ; it has been the scene of 
tranquil lives undisturbed by modern unrest and change ; of high 
hopes and anxious fears ; of romance, tragedy, and comedy. And 
at last it has become the victim of present-day utilitarianism, 
drained, to a large extent, of its abundant waters and torn and 
despoiled by the huge machines that take out its most prosaic yet 
valuable treasures, clay and building materials. 

The Temescal valley, in Riverside County, heads in Lake Elsi- 
nore, drops to the southwest, and opens out on the plains where 
Corona and the Arlington district of Riverside flourish. To its west 
rises the beautiful Santa Ana range, to its east is the rolling sweep 
of the Temescal mountains. The valley is divided by a hill, on one 
side of which is the bed of the Temescal Creek, taking its rise in 
Lee Lake, and carrying at flood tide the overflow of Lake Elsinore. 
It is fed by small streams coming in from the canyons, and ter- 
minates in the Temescal wash, a natural reservoir. 

From the western wall of the valley a number of streams flow 
at high tide. One of these, Coldwater, flowing from the beautiful 
canyon of that name, once carried a considerable body of water, 
often maintaining its flow the year round. A number of cienagas 
also fed this stream. On a beach near Coldwater was located hot 
sulphur springs. 

People who knew the valley in earlier days can reproduce a 
semblance, at least, of the fair sight that met the eyes of the first 
explorers who passed this way. Here were cienagas which were 
oases of green in the driest season ; groves of fine live-oaks and 
sycamore, beside many scattered giant trees ; the streams were fined 
with a lush growth of willows, cottonwoods, bays, and underbrush, 
all overrun by a tangle of grapes, roses of Castile, chilicothe, and 
other vines. Wild flowers — fields of Matilija poppies, the nodding 
evening primrose swaying over rippling waters, hillsides covered 
with carpets of dainty baby-blue-eyes and cream cups, and a rich 
growth of alfileria and wild grasses — must have attracted the atten- 

History of Temescal Valley 13 

tion of the priests and soldiers of San Luis Rey, which mission laid 
claim, under the Spanish regime, to this valley. 

About 1818, a priest of San Luis Rey — probably Father Peyri — 
sent a soldier who had served the Mission long and well, to locate 
in the Temescal valley, giving him a "paper," — a permit, or license, 
for grazing. This was Leandro Serrano, a son of one of the soldiers 
of Fray Serra's first expedition, born in San Diego "prior to 1870." 
According to Bancroft, this native son had served San Luis Rey as 
mayor-domo at Pala and at San Juan Capistrano. He married, first, 
Presentacion Yorba, a sister of Dons Tomas and Bernardo Yorba, 
of the Santa Ana Rancho, who bore him six children. After her 
death he married Josefa Montalva, of Santa Barbara, who served 
as cook for Father Boscano, when he was the first parish priest of 
Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles. Before the death of Don 
Leandro, in 1852, seven children were bom of this later marriage, 
of whom two daughters — the last of the family — now reside in Los 

Senorita Dolores Serrano states that the priests wished her 
father to live in the Temescal valley because he had much influence 
with the Indians and could thus prevent trouble for the Mission. 
She says that when her father first came, there were many Indians 
in this valley, that there was a rancheria with a temescal located 
near the big cienaga, where the bathers could run from the "sweat- 
house" to the cold water of the mountain stream. She also says 
that her father's first occupation was to organize hunts, with the 
help of the natives, to exterminate the bear, mountain cats, and 
other prowling "animales," which overran the country. After this 
was done, Sefior Serrano brought in a flock of sheep and a herd of 

According to the testimony reviewed by the Supreme Court in 
rendering its final decision in the matter of the Temescal Rancho, 
it was admitted that Leandro Serrano occupied the valley and held 
it in undisputed possession from 1819 until his death, although he 
held no formal grant — only the license to graze. Senor Serrano 
seems to have made an attempt to secure a better title to his land 
through Governor Echandia; but he did not push matters, and is 
reported as telling "Benito" Wilson, who married into the Yorba 
family, that he had held undisputed possession since the settlement 
of the country and that everybody respected his claim. As was 
cited and admitted, under Spanish law, undisputed possession for 
thirty years alone gave title. But the claim was finally rejected 

Don Leandro built his first house, probably early in the twenties, 
at a spot beside the "big cienaga," near the center of the valley, 
which was marked until recent years by a monarch of a walnut and 

14 Historical Society of Southern California 

an equally large fig tree. These were for a long time landmarks 
in that vicinity. Later, apparently some time in the early thirties, 
because of threatening trouble with Indians, another home was 
erected upon a knoll just above the first site, which commanded a 
far-reaching view. The ruins of this adobe were standing during 
the eighties. So far as I have been able to learn, Leandro Serrano 
was the first settler of European blood, and built the first residence 
in what is now Riverside County, and probable in San Bernardino 
County, also. Prior to 1820 some kind of shelter had been provided 
by the priests of San Gabriel in the neighborhood of what was later 
the asistencia of Politana, in the San Bernardino valley ; but this 
does not appear to have been the permanent residence of any man 
of Spanish blood. 

Don Leandro set out orchards and vineyards and cultivated some 
of the fertile lands of the valley. As his family grew up about him, 
sons and sons-in-law built adobes along the trail traveled through 
the valley between San Diego, San Luis Rey, and San Juan Capi- 
strano and San Gabriel, and later on between Warner's Rancho and 
the Colorado River and el pueblo de Los Angeles. Some time in 
the forties Senor Serrano moved into a new adobe, nearer this trav- 
eled road. This house is still standing, in ruins, and was occupied 
by the family until the daughters moved to Los Angeles, in 1898. 
Here Senora Serrano died in the nineties — a very old woman. A 
few outside settlers may have come into the valley during this decade 
— one family, the Aguilars, came from Mexico and settled, doubt- 
less through the permission of Senor Serrano, near the Lagunita, or 
Lee Lake. 

The coming of a new government, with insistent demands for 
titles and legalities, must have brought fear and anxiety to the heart 
of the old Californian, who had so long enjoyed undisputed pos- 
session of his valley. Before the United States Land Commissioners 
rendered their decision denying his title, in 1853, Don Leandro died, 
and was carried to San Juan Capistrano to be buried beside Dona 
Presentacion. By the rejection of their claim his family was left 
without land, without even a title to the orchards and vineyards 
surrounding the residence. An appeal was taken to the District 
Court, and years of uncertainty followed. Some American squatters 
came in, early in the fifties, chief of whom seems to have been the 
Lathrop family. 

In 1856 Daniel Sexton, who came into CaUfornia in 1841, claims 
to have discovered the tin mine in the Temescal mountains, having 
been told of it by an Indian. Senorita Serrano says that one of her 
brothers had a residence at the mine ; but I have not been able to fix 
the date of this. According to the records of San Bernardino 
County, Don Abel Stearns purchased from Senora Jose fa Serrano 

History of Temescal Valley 15 

whatever right she might have to the Temescal Rancho for 200 
head of cattle. "Don Abel" seems to have had great faith in the 
value of this tin deposit. H. M. Willis, of San Bernardino, speak- 
ing many years later, declared that in 1858 there was but one mine 
of value known in San Bernardino County — the Temescal Tin Mine, 
An agreement is on record, dated 1864, in which Steams disposes 
of his rights in the Temescal Rancho to J. H. Ray, of San Francisco, 
for $100,000. 

In 1859 the District Court finally reached a decision, reversing 
the ruling of the Land Commissioners, and granting the Temescal 
Rancho, to include four leagues of land, to the Serrano heirs. But 
they were not to be allowed to remain in undisputed possession of 
their heritage. Already, other claimants for the tin mine district 
had appeared. In 1842 a grant known as "San Jacinto" had been 
made to Jose Antonio Estudillo, its boundaries named as Ranchos 
Jurupa and San Bernardino, on the north ; Temecula, on the south ; 
Gorgonio on the east, and Huapa on the west. As the boundaries 
of all these ranchos were indefinite, and as they were located in 
what is now San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange 
counties, it will be seen that the San Jacinto grant covered a very 
large territory and contained large possibilities. Later, Rancho 
Nueva y Potrero and Rancha Vieja San Jacinto were indefinitely 
limited and taken from grant. In 1845, M. Aguirre, on account 
of his wife, Rosaria Estudillo, was granted Sobrante San Jacinto, 
to include five leagues, more or less, or all the remaining lands of 
the original San Jacinto. Here was a situation which led to litiga- 
tion extending from the time, 1853, when the Sobrante San Jacinto 
was thrown out by the Land Commissioners, until the final decision 
of the Supreme Court, in 1888. In 1855 the District Court reversed 
the ruling of the Land Commissioners, and granted the Sobrante 
San Jacinto, to include five leagues. The grant was purchased 
soon after this decision by Edward Conway, an employee of the 
Surveyor-General's office. Before 1866 Conway and associates — 
mostly men connected with the U. S. Land Office — had filed claims 
for some 400 mineral locations in the Temescal Tin District, claim- 
ing the filings were on unsurveyed government land. 

In the meantime influence had been brought to bear somewhere 
— the U. S. Government appealed from the decision of the District 
Court, and in 1866, in spite of the protests put up by Stearns and 
the Serrano heirs, the Supreme Court decided that the Spanish 
administration had no intention of making Serrano a grant, since 
it had given him merely a license for grazing, therefore his undis- 
puted possession did not give a title to Temescal Rancho. In 1867 
the Land Office patented the Sobrante San Jacinto, to include eleven 
leagues, and with its boundaries carried over "twenty-six" miles, 
according to Steams, in order to include the tin district. 

16 Historical Society of Southern California 

The history of the Temescal tin mine would fill a volume. I can 
only briefly epitomize it here. A tin mine company had already 
been formed, its members including Gen. Beale, U. S. Surveyor- 
General for California; Messrs. Conway, Hancock, and other 
employees of the Land Office, and also some of the Washington 
officials, it was claimed by Stearns, who fought every step of the 
proceedings. The case was tried by different courts, under various 
titles, and the decision was always that no fraud was proved. It 
was passed upon by the Secretary of the Interior. After Stearns's 
death, his heirs carried on the warfare until the final decision, sus- 
taining the lower courts and the Land Office. 

In 1869 bars of tin from the Temescal mine were exhibited at 
the Mechanics* Fair, San Francisco. Specimens of the tin were sent 
to England and were pronounced of the purest quality. It was 
declared by many investigators that here was a body of tin, unlim- 
ited in quantity and of the finest quality — the richest and, indeed, 
the only workable body of tin ore in the U. S. Because of the 
litigation little active work was done, until the title was cleared in 
1888. After this, experts from England repeatedly examined the 
in district, and made extensive reports which were so favorable 
that, July 24, 1890, a company with a capital of 3,500,000 pounds 
was incorporated in London, known as the California Mining and 
Smelting Co. ; also another corporation, the San Jacinto Estate, 
Limited, was formed, members of which were Sir James Balfour, 
Irish Secretary ; Sir John Stokes, Vice-President of the Suez Canal 
Co., and other prominent financiers of London, including some of 
the men interested in the Welsh tin mines, then the chief source 
of supply for England. The Sobrante San Jacinto Rancho. 45,126 
acres, was purchased ; Col. E. N. Robinson was installed as man- 
ager; a plant that had been intended for a Black Hills, Dakota, 
tin mine, was first installed, and the Temescal tin mine was at last 
opened up. It is claimed that nearly two million dollars was 
expended here within the next two years. Up to July, 1892, 136 
tons of metallic tin were produced — the only tin bars ever made 
from ore in this country. On March 30, 1892, the first shipment of 
American pig tin reached New York, via Colon. The Redlands 
Citrograph stated : "This shipment caused tin dealers in London to 
telegraph New York dealers to lower prices on tin plate." This 
was the first — and the last — shipment. The Temescal tin mines 
were closed down in 1892, the valuable equipment and machinery 
were later sold, and no effort has since been made to work the 

No entirely satisfactory explanation of the fact has developed. 
The tariff on tin was made a political issue of the campaign of 
1892 — this may have had a bearing. It was claimed that the Com- 

HisTOKY OF Temescal Valley 17 

wall tin interests obtained a controlling hold and closed down the 
Temescal mine to prevent competition ; it is also claimed that the 
English tin experts were mistaken in their estimates and tin was not 
present in paying quantities. The property has now passed into the 
hands of an American company, although English stockholders still 
have an interest. 

To return to the history of the Valley proper. In 1858, the quiet 
which still prevailed was disturbed by big, three-seated coaches, 
drawn by dashing horses — the Butterfield stages, which provided 
transportation and carried mail between San Francisco and St. 
Louis. In this connection, the following extract may be of interest, 
taken from the report of Special Agent G. Bailey to Postmaster- 
General Brown, dated October 18, 1858, after making the first over- 
land trip: 

"Left San Francisco Plaza at precisely ten minutes past midnight 
on the 14th of Sept., 1858, and arrived at Tipton, terminus of the 
Pacific railway, at five minutes past nine, in the morning, Oct. 9th. 
The mails reached St. Louis the same day at forty-five minutes past 
eight p. m. Time actually consumed between San Francisco and 
St. Louis, 24 days, 18 hours and 26 minutes. 

"The second division of the trip, with time and distance between 
points: Los Angeles to El Monte, 13 miles; San Jose, 12; Chino 
Rancho, 12; Temescal, 20; Laguna Grande, 10; Temecula, 21; 
Tejunga, 14; Oak Grove, 12; Warner's Rancho, 10; San Felipe, 16; 
Vallecito, 18; Palm Springs, 9; Carrisso Creek, 9; Indian Wells, 
32; Alamo Mocho, 24; Cook's Wells, 22; Pilot Knob, 18; Fort 
Yuma, 10; Total, 282 miles. Time, seventy-one hours and forty- 
five minutes. Note : There is no water on this route between Car- 
risso Springs and the Colorado, except at stations." 

In the eighties the ruins of what was known as the "old stage 
station" were pointed out in the Temescal valley, and a fitting story 
of a peddler who was said to have reached this station and was 
never seen again, was current. However, the Serrano sisters, who 
vividly recall the big stages, state that the station used was further 
down the valley, and was never at the building named. 

In 1866 the Temescal School District was organized, the fifth 
in San Bernardino County. Its boundaries were defined, according 
to Book A, of the Supervisors' Minutes, as: "Commencing at the 
N. E. point of the Jurupa Dist. and running S. E. to the boundary 
of San Diego County, and containing all that portion of the county 
not included in other districts." As San Bernardino was, at this 
time, the largest county in the U. S., and this district extended from 
the Santa Ana River to the Colorado and included all but a small 
comer of the area of the county, Temescal may be fairly supposed 
to have been the largest school district in the U. S. A California 

18 Historical Society of Southern California 

school house was planted under a huge sycamore tree, and here 
the children of the settlers — all speaking Spanish, though Enghsh 
was taught — were gathered. This building, with some repairs, 
served until 1889, when a fine modem building took its place and 
still serves. 

The oldest resident of the Temescal valley, now, is Mr. C. J. 
Compton, who, with his brother, Ambrose, arrived here from Eng- 
land in 1879, and purchased squatter's rights, which had already 
passed through two or three hands, the first owner having been one 
Myers. Mr. Compton says the Serranos still claimed the land, 
which had not yet been surveyed, although the Supreme Court had 
denied their rights in 1866. Early in the seventies Mrs. Thomdyke 
took up a homestead upon the bench of land near Cold water Can- 
yon, including the hot springs, and filed a claim on all the water of 
Coldwater, although a previous settler, Binkley, had made a filing 
before hers, but had not utilized the water. Mrs. Thomdyke built 
a two-story frame house, probably the first in that section, hauling 
the lumber for it from Los Angeles. This was called a hotel. The 
springs were widely known and greatly valued by the early resi- 
dents. Many visitors came to the valley to camp under its trees, 
drink and bathe in the healing waters. The Califomians and pioneer 
settlers came here, too, for their wash-day fiestas — the warm waters 
were cleansing as well as healing. 

Soon after Mrs. Thomdyke had established herself, an old sea- 
captain, Sayward by name, homesteaded the land at the mouth of 
Coldwater Canyon, erected a two-story adobe — now a part of the 
Glen Ivy Hotel — and also filed a claim upon water from the stream. 
Naturally a lawsuit followed — a lawsuit in this case backed by an 
ancient feud between the families, and a long and interesting his- 
tory. The suit over the water rights and the ditches of these two 
claimants went merrily on, through various owners of the Sayward 
side, with Mrs. Thomdyke upon the other, until both properties 
came into the hands of the Temescal Water Company, which sup- 
plied water for the settlement of South Riverside, now Corona. 

During the seventies stock and sheep men began to give place 
to orchards and bees. The latter were first brought into the valley, 
Mr. Compton states, by a negro, in the early seventies. Later, the 
Compton brothers became apiarists upon a large scale and bees 
are still an important source of income in the valley. 

The rapid developments of the eighties brought a new and more 
enterprising class of settlers. Mines and "prospects" were devel- 
oped; there was much talk of a railroad — still unbuilt. The Santa 
Fe took the San Jacinto route to Elsinore and Temescal remains a 
stage station. In May, 1886, the South Riverside Land and Water 
Company was incorporated, its members including ex-Govemor 

History of Temescal Valley 19 

Merrill, of Iowa; Messrs, Joy, Hudson, W. H. Jameson, R. B. Tay- 
lor, and others. This company purchased a tract of land lying on 
the mesa between the Temescal Wash and Arlington and secured 
water rights to Temescal Creek, Lee Lake, and tributaries of the 
creek — 150 acres of water-bearing lands. Work was at once begun 
on water development and in building dams and pipe-lines. In 1889 
the Temescal Water Company was incorporated, to supply water 
for the new colony. This company purchased all the water-bearing 
lands to be obtained in the valley and soon began putting down 
artesian wells. The first wells flowed, at a depth of 300 feet. Soon, 
however, pumping plants had to be installed. In time all the w^ater 
of both Temescal and Coldwater creeks was turned into pipe lines. 
Cienagas and springs w^ere drained, and, gradually, the beautiful 
spots of the valley became dry and desolate. Farms and orchards 
in the central part of the valley were abandoned; the old adobes 
along the stage route crumbled until now most of them are gone, 
and recently the old road, traveled for so many years, is abandoned 

Along the foothills, and in small cafions, some flourishing ranches 
and orchards are found. Several country places have been devel- 
oped. The Glen Ivy Hotel, with its hot baths and plunge, remains 
a popular resort. But the chief industry now is the taking out of 
clay and building material. Here is a zone, according to State 
Mining Bureau reports, of "plastic clay of superior quality, resem- 
bling important white, grey, black, and red cretaceous clays of the 
New Jersey plains." At Alberhill, near Lake Elsinore, is located 
an extensive terra cotta plant ; also clay to supply a large number of 
plants in Southern California, is taken out here. Other clay pits 
are located in the lower end of the valley; while a large rock crush- 
ing plant ships out quantities of material. 

As we have seen, the Temescal valley has passed through many 
stages and been occupied by a shifting series of settlers. Since the 
undisputed possession of the Serranos ended, it has seemed to know 
but little of permanence; it has been the stopping place of many a 
stranded soul ; a source of supply for more fortunate districts. One 
wonders what the future may reveal. When its water supply and 
clay beds are exhausted, will some new treasure be uncovered.'* 
Attempts are now under way to locate oil. Perhaps, sometime, it 
may again become the "tin district" of the United States, and the 
great industry once so proudly boasted of may materialize. 

The story of the Serrano family is, perhaps, not strictly history 
— only a human interest story. When the decision came that their 
heritage to a rich valley was a mere dream — that they had no right 
to an acre of the land they had so long called their own — it was 
a heavy blow to the surviving members of the family. One of the 

20 Historical Society of Southern California 

sons who had been educated as a priest became insane, and for more 
than forty years was incarcerated in Napa State Asylum. Other 
members left the valley until only the mother and two youngest 
daughters remained. When the land was finally opened to settle- 
ment, a homestead was secured to 160 acres surrounding the home, 
A Mexican servant remained with them and raised the barley and 
cultivated the old orchard. But the living of the three women was 
scant in these days; they were aliens to their squatter neighbors, 
and hated because of the claims they cherished in their hearts. The 
chest of rich silks, Chinese shawls and other finery, left by Seiiora 
Presentacion and cherished as a family treasure through the years, 
was despoiled at last to keep them alive. When the mother died 
there was no money for the funeral, and the daughters could not 
consent that she should be laid in unconsecrated ground. So they 
mortgaged their home to the South Riverside Land and Water 
Company, and carried Seiiora Serrano to the little graveyard at 
Agua Mansa, near Riverside — the first Catholic burying ground in 
San Bernardino valley. 

Their old servitor was now too crippled to carry on the rancho. 
In 1898 the two sisters left Temescal to live in Los Angeles. Major 
Horace Bell, long their friend and attorney, made arrangements 
which gave them a home on East Sixteenth Street. Here they live 
almost as secluded a life as though they were in the old adobe under* 
the pepper tree at Temescal. They are of a past generation and a 
past age — a bit of Old California left over. 


(From unpublished MSS. by Benjamin Hayes [Em. Notes, 448- 
452] in Bancroft Collection.) 

The region in the annexed diagram (*) which, for convenience, 
is marked San Jacinto Plain, is one of the most desirable portions 
of San Diego County for stock and general agriculture, and is espe- 
cially adapted for sheep raising. It is so connected, in the legal 
title, with the adjoining low mountain tract of Temescal (as well as 
from other circumstances), that both may be considered together. 
Temescal, however, belongs to San Bernardino County. 

Before 1866 Mr. Abel Stearns had bought some interest in 
Temescal from the widow and heirs of Don Leandro Serrano, 
deceased. About the end of June of that year he employed me 
to file exceptions for him in the office of the U. S. Surveyor-General, 
at San Francisco, to a survey which had been made of the "So- 
brante" (balance) of San Jacinto, making it fall upon and include 
the whole of the tin mines of Temescal, and in all eleven square 
leagues of land. I was at the same time attorney for the widow, 
Dona Josefa Montalba de Serrano, who was also prosecuting the 
claim held by her deceased husband to five league of Temescal, 
before the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Starting from San Diego July, 1866, with Don Jose Antonio 
Estudillo, and failing at Temecula to find the surveyor promised 
by Mr. Stearns, we crossed the San Jacinto Plain to San Bernardino, 
obtained the services of Henry Wilkes, Esq., Co. Surveyor. Mr. 
G. E. Hubbell joined us there. He had lived about three years at 
those mines, in charge of them. A pleasant short day's drive up 
the San Timoteo Pass (which conducts to San Gorgonio) and over 
the hills from Weaver's, brought us at night to the residence of 
Don Salvador Estudillo, one of the owners of San Jacinto Viego 
(Old San Jacinto). Next morning we called at Guachapa, two 
miles further, to see the venerable Dona Victoria Dominguez de 
Estudillo, and went on across San Jacinto Nueva (New San Ja- 
cinto) to La Laguna, and the next day on to Temescal. Our obser- 
vations were completed on July 21st and we returned the next day 
to Los Angeles City. 

In summer, I confess, this plain is not inviting on account of its 
heat and the scarcity of water. It is known that water can be got 
almost everywhere on New San Jacinto by digging wells to the 
depth of a few feet, and the face of the country promises artesian 
water through this whole basin. About two miles from the residence 

22 Historical Society of Southern California 

of Dona Victoria is a hot spring and another near the residence 
of Don Salvador. On old San Jacinto is a place called "Casa de la 
Loma," a low hill with an old house upon it that belonged to the 
Mission of San Luis Rey. It is surrounded by little springs. This 
is about four miles from Dona Victoria's. In this neighborhood, 
or about the center of the two ranches, is best for stock, whether 
for grass or for water. The San Jacinto River rises in the moun- 
tain of San Jacinto and Coahuilla Mountain (or Taquia, as the 
Indians call it), and runs perennially as far as the Indian village of 
Sobora, in summer. There is little timber on New San Jacinto, a 
good deal in the vicinity and direction of Dona Victoria's and 

These two San Jacinto ranches, comprehending nineteen square 
leagues, are almost a perfect plain, broken a little by isolated hills. 
It extends southwardly to Temecula and northward to near San 
Bernardino; is bounded on the west by Temescal Mountain and 
hilly ranges of the Santa Ana River. The entire plain contains 
perhaps 150,000 acres of land. 

San Jacinto Viejo was granted Dec. 21st, 1842, by Manuel 
Jimento to Don Jose Antonio Estudillo : San Jacinto NuevoyPotrero 
Jan. 14th, 1846, by Pio Pico to Miguel de Pedrodena (11 leagues), 
and the Sobrante of San Jacinto Viejo and Nueva, or surplus over 
the two first named ranchos (five leagues) May 9th, 1846, by Pio 
Pico to Maria del Rosaria Estudillo de Aguirre. Their relative 
positions at the date of the last grant appears by the annexed dia- 
gram (A), of the whole tract, made by actual survey by Jasper 
O'Farrell, in 1845, and which was submitted to the Mexican gov- 
ernment by each petitioner. The tract designated by this diagram 
on the earth's surface runs N. W. and S. E. across the San Jacinto 
Plain, between it and the Temescal tract, extending in length toward 
San Bernardino. 

Buying the Sobrante and locating the other two ranches to suit 
their purpose — and without the knowledge of the heirs of Estu- 
dillo and Pedrodena, certain parties located the Sobrante, stretching 
it to eleven leagues at the same time, so as to take in the mines 
of Temescal — which had then come to be considered a store of incal- 
culable wealth. This led to the proceedings first referred to of Mr. 
Stearns. The case was finally lost by him both in the Land Depart- 
ment, and in the case of Temescal, in the Supreme Court of the 
U. S. 

Leandro Serrano's father was one of the soldiers who came 
with Father Junipero Serra to establish San Diego. Don Leandro 
was long mayor-domo of Pala for the Mission of San Luis Rey. As 
early as 1818 he commenced the settlement of Temescal, had a 
corral and some few cows, oxen, and horses, and had begun a 

Document; San Jacinto and Temescal 23 

garden. In 1826 he had a good adobe house, a garden with fruit 
trees, considerable cattle and horse stock. His family lived there 
then. His wife, Dona Presentacion de Yorba, dying, he married 
Dona Josefa de Montalba, and continued to reside there until his 
death, in 1852. He left numerous children.* To this day to many 
of the native Califomians it is inconceivable how it is that this 
ancient possession, with boundaries well defined to the extent of five 
leagues, and always respected in their other grants by the Mexican 
authorities, could avail nothing under our system. 

The land went into the hands of a company of speculators with 
a capital of $3,000,000, except a few little garden spots which this 
family and some settlers have retained, it is to be supposed, only by 
a degree of corporate magnanimity in executing this remarkable 
survey. — ( Diagram. ) 

♦ Don Jose Antonio Serrano is his [Leandro Serrano's] son by 
his first wife and was born at the Presidio of San Diego, but was 
reared principally at Pala and Temescal. He is now sixty years of 
age, April, 1875. 



The formation of the Henry E. Huntington Library is, without 
doubt, the greatest bibliothecal achievement of the twentieth cen- 
tury. The success of the undertaking is due to three important 
factors, any one of which, if lacking, would have prevented its 
accomplishment. These factors are, (1) the discriminating taste 
and ability of Mr. Huntington and his wonderful executive capacity 
for handling great affairs; (2) the means he possessed of gratifying 
his taste as a book collector, and (3) the opportunity, such as has 
never fallen to the lot of any other collector, of acquiring thousands 
of books of the utmost rarity. Since 1910 many libraries, a number 
of them of world-wide reputation, have been thrown upon the mar- 
ket. Some of these Mr. Huntington bought en bloc, and from others 
made large and important selections as they were dispersed at 

Previous to that time he had collected in a small way, but it 
was not generally known that he was a book collector. In April, 
1907, there appeared in the Sunday edition of the New York Times 
a full-page article on "Private Libraries in New York That Have 
Cost Large Fortunes." In it Mr. Huntington's name was not even 
mentioned. Among the libraries named therein were three, each of 
which has since been purchased by Mr. Huntington, and incorpo- 
rated in his collection : those of the late E. Dwight Church, Frederic 
R. Halsey, and Mr. Beverly Chew. Of three others named in that 
article, those of Robert Hoe, Thomas J. McKee, and Henry M. 
Poor, Mr. Huntington was a prominent purchaser at the sales at 
which they were dispersed ; and he has, ever since, continued to be 
a considerable buyer at every important sale, not only in this country 
but also in Europe. While the books he has bought relate to a 
variety of subjects, his library is especially distinguish for the 
rarity and importance of its works of English literature and Ameri- 
can history. 

This is not the proper occasion on which to speak of its rarities 
of English Uterature, so only a brief description of those it contains 
in American history will here be undertaken. The nucleus of Mr. 
Huntington's collection of Americana came to him in the purchase 
of the library of the late E. Dwight Church, of New York. To 
this he has since added largely by acquiring the Christie-Miller 
collection of early Americana ; the Judge Russell Benedict collection 
of pamphlets relating to the Revolutionary War and early New 
York laws and history; the Alexander S. Macdonald library of 

The Henry E. Huntington Library 25 

Califomiana ; many valuable items in the Bridgewater House and 
Halsey libraries, and from auction sales and other sources. The 
library of Mr. Church was especially noted for its collection of con- 
temporaneous works relating to periods of discovery, exploration, 
and colonization of the Western Hemisphere. In many respects it 
was a close rival, if not an equal, of the older collections of John 
Carter Brown, of Providence, R. I., and of the Lenox Library, now 
a part of the Public Library of New York. 

Of the early books relating to the discovery and exploration of 
America it possesses the first Latin Edition of the Letter of Colum- 
bus announcing the Discovery of the New World. Of these letters 
it has the four editions in Latin, all printed in 1493, one in Italian, 
and one in German, the latter being unique. These represent every 
edition that it is possible at the present day for a private collector 
to acquire, as all the copies of every other known edition are 
locked up in public institutions and hence cannot again come into 
the market. 

Of the letters of Americus Vespuccius it contains five editions 
of the Novus Mundus, giving accounts of his voyages. And here 
it may be said that by a special arrangement entered into within 
the past two or three years by ten libraries and private collectors, 
Mr. Huntington has been able to add photostat copies of other 
editions of the Mundus Novus, as well as facsimile copies of many 
other rare and unique books of this period, the originals of which 
are scattered about in the great national libraries of Europe and in 
the public and private collections in this country. These copies sup- 
plement the original editions and thus aflford every facility to the 
student of early American history to carry on his studies. 

Of the First Collection of Voyages, the Paesi Nouvamenti Retro- 
vati, the Huntington Library contains the first five editions (1507- 
1512). It also contains three editions of Waldseemiiller's Cosmo- 
graphiae Introductio, the first book in which the name America was 
given to the western continent. This little book was printed at 
St. Die, in the Vosges Mountains in eastern France, which in conse- 
quence, has been called the "Baptismal Font of America." 

Coming down a little later we have the First Four Editions in 
Spanish, Latin, Italian, and French (1522-1532) of the Four Letters 
of Cortes giving an account of his conquest of Mexico. The De 
Novo Orhe, of Peter Martyr, is represented by twelve editions in 
the original and its translations, prominent among the latter being 
Richard Eden's Decades of the New World (1555), subsequently 
reprinted and edited by Richard Willes in 1577. Of the Nine Tracts 
of Las Casas, the "Apostle to the Indians," there is also a beautiful 
copy in this collection. 

26 Historical Society of Southern California 

While the Spaniards in the south were extending their explora- 
tions and estabHshing colonies, the French, in the north, basing their 
claims on the disputed voyage of Verrazzano (1524) and the two 
voyages of Jacques Cartier (1534-1542), explored and settled New 
France. Of the contemporaneous accounts of their activities we 
have the description of the two navigations of Cartier (1580) ; the 
Voyages of Champlain, in six editions, covering the years 1603- 
1640; the works of Hennepin, Lescarbot, and many others. 

Prominent among the many interesting accounts of the French 
settlements, are the reports made by the Jesuit missionaries to their 
superior in France. These are known among collectors as the 
"Jesuit Relations." These reports, made yearly, were printed in 
Paris from 1632-1673. Their popularity was so great that they 
were literally read to pieces so that it is with the utmost difficulty 
that the collector of the present day is able to acquire anything 
approaching a complete set. The Huntington Library is the fortu- 
nate possessor of one of the best sets of these Relations in existence, 
comprising, as it does, 58 volumes, including variant copies. 

The English claims to North America were based on Cabot's 
voyage of 1497. How, at length, the Pilgrim Fathers and others 
came to colonize the east shore of the Atlantic from Massachusetts 
to Virginia is too well known to require description. The Hunting- 
ton library is especially rich in books relating to the English explora- 
tions and settlements. Mention can only be made of a few of the 
outstanding ones relating to this period. Of Brereton's Brief and 
True Relation, the first book about New England, there are the two 
issues of 1602. Any other library would consider itself especially 
fortunate to possess even one of them. A companion volume to 
Brereton is Rosier's True Relation of the Voyage of Captain Wey- 
mouth ( (1605). These books have been called "The Verie Two Eyes 
of New-England Historic." Hariot's Virginia (1588), a book of 
excessive rarity, is also on the Huntington shelves ; as is also one of 
the best collections in existence of the accounts of Frobisher's voy- 
ages to discover a northwest passage. 

The library is especially rich in material relating to the early his- 
tory of the colonies of Virginia, New England, New York, New 
Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Among these may be men- 
tioned an extraordinarily fine collection of eight of the works of 
Captain John Smith, including a presentation copy of his Descrip- 
tion of New England (1616) to Lord Ellsmere, with, "For the Right 
Honourable the Lord Elesmore, Lord High Chancelor of England," 
printed at the top of the title-page. 

Of the early products of the American press, beginning with that 
of Cambridge, the Library contains the first book printed in British 
North America, the Bay Psalm Book (1640); the first Cambridge 

The Henry E. Huntington Library 27 

Almanac ; Winthrop's Declaration of Former Passages and Pro- 
ceedings betwixt the English and Narrowgansetts (1645). This, 
the third issue of Stephen Day's press, is one of the rarest and most 
expensive books ever purchased by Mr. Huntington. Prominent 
among other works from the Cambridge press may be named EUot's 
Indian Bible and New Testament; the Book of the General Laws 
and Liberties of Massachusetts (1648), the only known copy; and 
the Book of the General Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts 
(1660). Eliot's Indian Tracts are all here, as well as many other 
products of the early Boston press. 

Of the books issued by the first press established in New York 
by William Bradford, the library contains one of the best collections 
in existence, including two copies of the New York Laws (1694), 
Bradford's most important, if not his earliest work. 

For the period of the French and Indian War and of the Revo- 
lutionary War, there is a fine collection of 800 pamphlets purchased 
from Judge Russell Benedict of New York. These contempora- 
neous works throw much light upon many of the side-issues of these 
great contests. The War of 1812, especially that part of it taken 
by the United States on the sea, is fully recorded in the Harbeck 
Collection of Works on the Naval History of the United States ; 
while for the Civil War period we have a collection of autographs 
and letters of over seventy-five per cent, of all the prominent offi- 
cers, both Union and Confederate, who took part in that conflict. 

The history of California is represented by the collection of 
Calif orniana made by Mr. Alexander S. Macdonald, of Oakland, 
bought two or three years since by Mr. Huntington, which, while it 
is not as extensive as that of the Bancroft Library, at Berkeley, 
comprises some 2500 items, which will give the student of the history 
of this state access to much valuable and rare material. 

Such are a few of the works in print relating to the discovery, 
exploration, and colonization, as well as later history, of that part of 
North America now known as the United States. A few colonists 
came to the shores of the Atlantic and settled, seeking to find there 
the religious freedom denied them in England. They brought with 
them the laws of England which at that time represented the best 
features of an enlightened civil liberty. This leaven, as time went 
on, spread wider and wider until the claims of Spain and France 
gave way by conquest and purchase, until the civilization and insti- 
tutions of our ancestors covered the whole of our country. 

In addition to printed sources of American history, written and 
read by contemporaries, the Huntington Library contains numerous 
manuscripts of the greatest interest and rarity. Among these may 
be named the Records of the Dutch West India Company, relating 

28 Historical Society of Southern California 

to the settlement of New York. These have not yet been printed, 
but when they are they will throw a new light on the early history of 
Manhattan Island. The Judge Benedict collection of manuscripts 
relating to the history of New York contains the autographs of all 
the governors, both colonial and of the state, down to the present 
time. In the Huntington collection are many log-books of vessels 
sailing to and from American ports during the Revolution and the 
War of 1812. 

One of the most interesting and valuable items, which is, in very 
truth, the cornerstone of the history of the United States, is a col- 
lection of four holograph letters written by George III, in which 
the King gives his reasons for consenting to granting independence 
to the Colonies. With these letters are also the Minutes of the 
Privy Council and the printed Articles of Peace — the culmination 
of their deliberations. 

Here, too, are many letters of Washington and Jefferson ; the 
commission of Paul Jones, signed by both of these worthies ; and the 
Journal of Aaron Burr. Perhaps the most interesting of the manu- 
scripts in the Huntington Library is the Journal of the lamented 
Major John Andre, as well as a Letter by Benedict Arnold in May, 
1783, written to Lord North, in which he gives an account of his 
treason, and asks to be placed on the British Establishment as his 
and Mrs. Arnold's pensions would be greatly inadequate for the 
support of his numerous family. A fitting pendant to these is the 
manuscript of that portion of Washington Irving's Life of Wash- 
ington relating to Arnold's treason. 

The original manuscript of the autobiography of Benjamin 
Franklin is probably the most interesting, if not the most valuable, 
of any in the Huntington collection. Here, too, are the genealogy 
of George Washington given at length in a long letter and a genea- 
logical tree, both in his own handwriting. These were written in 
response to inquiries by Sir Isaac Heard, Garter King-at-Arms, 
asking for information concerning his family history. Of later date 
is a note-book carried by Abraham Lincoln during the Lincoln- 
Douglas debates. General Sherman's Memoirs, the histories of 
John Fiske, and Herndon's Life of Lincoln. 

These, in brief, are a few of the historical rarities, both printed 
and manuscript that grace the shelves of the Huntington Library. 
The story of its treasures of English literature is even more remark- 
able, but this is neither the time nor the place to enter into their 

The question naturally arises, what is the significance of this 
great library to the Pacific Coast? In this state are numerous public 
and university libraries. The former look after the recreation and 
instruction of the general public, the latter to the needs of the pro- 

The Henry E. Huntington Library 29 

fessors, instructors, and students of our educational institutions. 
The Huntington Library stands apart from these as a great treasure 
house of source books of American history and of EngUsh hterature, 
and, in a lesser degree, of a number of other subordinate subjects. 
As its resources are better known it will become a great magnet that 
will draw to its shelves scholars not only from within the state and 
nation, but from every corner of the civilized world. The reference 
librarians of the public libraries and professors in the universities 
and colleges throughout the country will more and more, as time 
goes on, advise a constantly increasing number of scholars and 
students to make use of the Huntington Library in order that they 
may carry on their investigations and researches, realizing that in 
no other place can they be as effectively served. So, as time goes 
on, the Huntington Library is bound to become a source of inspira- 
tion to studious young men, and, it is safe to say, will become a 
great source of inspiration to scholarship in this country. 



Mr. James Bryce, in his yet unequalled work on the American 
Commonwealth, affirms that "the American people have a practical 
aptitude for politics, a clearness of vision, and capacity for self- 
control never equalled by any other nation."^ After instancing their 
disregard of "darUng legalities" under the stress of civil war, when 
a high sense of patriotism questioned not the novel powers exercised 
by the executive, he pays them this splendid tribute: "Such a people 
can work any constitution."^ 

The abstract study of institutions and laws, in which there is 
wanting the vital touch with concrete reality, magnifies out of their 
true proportion the devices or contrivances of governmental 
machinery. Government is at best but the means by use of which 
the state attains its ends; to make of it an end in itself, or even a 
fetish — as some do — is a manifest perversion. 

Infinitely wider than the field of law is the domain of morality. 
"Quid leges sine morihus?" is a question that not only furnishes a 
commentary on imperial Rome, but finds applicability in all lands, 
in every age. "A man may be a bad husband, a bad father, a bad 
guardian, without coming into conflict with the rules of a single law. 
He may be an extortionate landlord, a wasteful tenant, a hard dealer, 
an unreliable tradesman, and yet the legal machinery of the country 
may be quite powerless to chastise him. He may be, furthermore, 
[continues Professor Amos], a self-seeking politician, an unscrupu- 
lous demagogue, or an indolent aristocrat, and yet satisfy to the 
utmost the claims of the law upon him. Nevertheless it is just in 
the conduct of these several relationships that the bulk of human 
life consists, and national prosperity and honor depend."^ 

"There is a widespread belief throughout the country [says a 
discerning writer] that for every abuse there is a legislative remedy. 
This belief in the moralizing power of the law is one of the most 
insidious as well as one of the most corrupting influences in our 
pubHc life."* May I be permitted a further quotation, taken from 
one of the most thought-compelling books of recent years: "Our 
zest for legislation blinds us to the subtle forces behind and beyond 
the law. Those influences which really make and mar human happi- 
ness and greatness are beyond the reach of the law. The law can 

1. Vol. L p. 290. 

2. Ibid. 

3. Amos, Science of Law, 30. 

♦. Rowe, Problems of City Government. 204. 

The Committees of Vigilance of California 31 

compel a man to support his wife, but it cannot compel him to love 
her, and what are ten dollars a week to a woman whose love lies 
in broken shards at her feet ? The law can compel a father to pro- 
vide for his children and can interfere if he maltreats them, but it 
cannot compel him to give them that loving fatherly intercourse 
which puts backbone into a child forever. The law can keep neigh- 
bors from trespassing, but it cannot put neighborly courtesy and 
good-will into their relations. , . . The highest qualities and 
influences are beyond the law and must be created elsewhere." ^ 
"The law becomes impotent if it is not supported by a diffused, 
spontaneous moral impulse in the community." ^ The law may with 
measurable success govern man's outward acts, but is confessedly 
inadequate to the discovery and control of his inner motives, and 
it is precisely in this latter realm that moral right and duty must 
ever reside. 

It is in general enjoined upon man to obey the law of the land, 
as a duty he owes to himself and to society. Yet mere literal obe- 
dience to the law is only a mark of passive or negative virtue as 
a citizen, and in no wise compensates for the absence of the posi- 
tive virtues of active citizenship. A man may contrive to evade the 
clutches of the law and at the same time be at heart the commu- 
nity's most lawless member. As the domain of morality is infinitely 
wider than the field of exact law, so it is of vastly more moment in 
the preservation of the health of the body politic. 

Moreover, as early laws have been for the most part "an embodi- 
ment of the customs that were observed," so in the growth of all 
law its social character and effectiveness at any given point depend 
upon public morality, and thus as a totality it almost invariably falls 
somewhat below the moral practices of the best citizenship. It has 
been well said that if all the people habitually lie, it is vain to affix 
a penalty to perjury; it is of no avail to enact laws if it is known 
that the community will not at least seriously endeavor to enforce 

But it not infrequently happens that the normal growth of law 
is violently interfered with; as in the case of the superposition of 
a completed system upon an unprepared people, or the usurpation of 
the government and administration by a foreign or alien power, or 
by an unworthy or unscrupulous class not truly representative of 
the state or the community. The colonial methods of Spain — and 
indeed of many other powers — have in recent years been subjected 
to the most trenchant criticism because of the bodily transplantation 
of domestic law and institutions without due regard to the culture, 
the habits, the very traditions and life of the dependent people. In 

5. Rauschenbusch, Cliristianity and the Social Crisis, 372. 

6. Ibid.. 374. 

32 Historical Society of Southern California 

other words, by running counter to the cosmic laws of adaptation, 
assimilation and evolution, Spain committed the mistake of trying 
by superposition to make every province a little Spain which should 
be an exact copy of the mother country. So in England, when the 
body of Anglo-Saxon law was fast rounding into a completed system 
at the time of Edward the Confessor, it would have been a serious 
error to predict that because William the Conqueror was a great 
stickler for legality, therefore the development of Anglo-Saxon law 
would go on unimpeded. 

Again, it is no adequate security to a great municipality that its 
law and administrative forms have reached even the acme of perfec- 
tion if a "ring" of corrupt politicians or a Tweed regime shall by 
fair means or by foul regain control. Laws may even be made the 
cloak of unrighteousness to hide the sins of base intrigue and fes- 
tering immorality. 

Finally, it is but commonplace to remark that in all frontier 
settlements, to which unusual conditions attract a heterogeneous 
population, popular tribunals of some sort have been erected. It 
may be the civil government has not been established sufficiently 
early, and thus statutory law is wanting, or the judicial tribunals 
have not been put in good working order for the timely execution 
of justice, or the perpetuation of inadequate and perhaps effete laws 
of an earlier civilization has cost the office-holding fraternity the 
contemptuous disregard of the community : for some cause sufficient 
in itself, or in the presence of certain exceptional conditions, usually 
rendered complex by the character of the population, the citizens' 
tribunal in some form has been inevitable as a means of self- 

It would be inaccurate to speak of the Vigilance Committee as 
everywhere synonymous with Mobocracy or Lynch Law. A mob is 
a tumultuous rabble through which surges a common passion, over- 
mastering in its power and usually tending to the subversion of both 
order and reason. The origin of the term Lynch Law may not with 
certainty be made out, but the essential fact has unquestionably been 
observed from the remotest antiquity and is, simply, "the summary 
infliction of punishment," after informal trial, or with no trial at all. 
A vigilance committee, properly so-called, not only recognizes the 
majesty of the law, but constitutes itself "the champion of justice 
and of right." It actively seeks to reinforce the civil authorities, 
and thus to bring criminals to speedy justice where the regular 
officials have failed; or if in its judgment the circumstances demand, 
it rises above the legal system and becomes a law to itself, holding 
that unfaithful servants should be removed by an afflicted commun- 
ity, and insisting that since a statute is no more sacred than the 
men that made it, "vicious technicalities" must not be permitted to 
thwart the ends of justice. 

The Committees of Vigilance of California 33 

It will be conceded that vigilance committees have not been 
found where there has been wise and effective execution of sound 
law. If terms have grown to be so elastic that a committee of 
vigilance may sometimes be truly denominated an exemplification 
of lynch law, it yet remains an accurate generalization that the 
essential purpose of the former is at once more worthy and more 
dignified than the latter, and that, whereas true lynch law is 
essentially heedless and anarchistic, the typical vigilance committee 
makes for government, social order, and peace. 

In approaching a study of the San Francisco Vigilance Com- 
mittee, it is indispensable to recall to mind California's unique posi- 
tion in the world. Ruthlessly seized by United States forces in 
1846 with a probable view to slavery extension, increasing numbers 
of Americans began to enter her borders, bringing with them the 
English language and American notions of law and government. 
Three times did Congress fail to provide even a temporary scheme 
of civil government, so intense was the contest and so bitter were 
the antagonisms over the dominant issue. Meanwhile, the effete 
Mexican law, so inadequately applied to the administration of affairs 
in California before the conquest, became almost wholly ineffective; 
so that, as a contemporary writer expressed it, they were left, "after 
two years of anarchy, precisely as [they] stood at the start — sans 
law, sans order, sans government." ^ 

"An exodus into newly discovered fields, that offer wealth as the 
prize for hardship, is proverbially composed of all sorts and con- 
ditions of men. The industrious and the ambitious see in such a 
country the occasion for exercise of great physical, moral, and 
intellectual vigor ; the despairing are stimulated to new endeavors ; 
the hopes of the down-trodden are revived; and the greed of the 
desperate and the vicious is inflamed. . . ." "And so in Califor- 
nia in early days, men of widely divergent types, possessed of radi- 
cally different ideals, struggled side by side, having but one aim in 
common, the desire to acquire a fortune. . . ." * 

If there had been a crying need for governmental provision 
previous to the gold discovery, that momentous fact almost infinitely 
increased the need. Before the coming of the Argonauts the immi- 
grants, who generally expected to settle permanently, were, as a 
rule, honest, sturdy, resourceful American pioneers. But in the days 
of '49 the sudden influx numbered also hundreds of deserters from 
all offices, ignorant or criminal elements from Mexico, Chili, China, 
New South Wales, and where not, and unprincipled adventurers 
from the United States — "loose fish" and "bad whites"; not one- 

7. "Pacific," in The Calijornian. 

8. Jury, Lynch Law in California, in Shuck, A Hictory oi the Bench and Bar, 267. 

34 Historical Society of Southern California 

tenth of all of whom expected to remain permanently in California. 

Such an element in a frontier population may be depended upon 
to exploit the labors of other men and reap where they sow not. 
A more perfect type of social parasite could not be found. We are 
not surprised, therefore, that about the middle of 1849 an organized 
band of desperadoes, known as the Hounds, terrorized San Fran- 
cisco by their aggressions and high-handed crimes. Indeed, as Ban- 
croft remarks, "one of their fundamental principles, practiced before 
it was formulated, and the first and broadest plank in their platform, 
was that others should feed and clothe them. The workingmen 
of California, the honest and industrious, should furnish them 
shelter, with strong drink, tobacco, and other luxuries." * In short, 
the Hounds were a band of desperadoes, or public robbers, who 
committed repeated aggressions and offenses upon the people of 
San Francisco under the flimsy pretense of opposition to foreigners, 
given color by General Persifer Smith's declared intention of driving 
off all foreigners.^* The gang paralyzed the town with terror. Their 
outrages, for a time somewhat covert and usually perpetrated at 
dead of night, grew bolder and more defiant ; but yet the long- 
suffering, peace-loving citizens, absorbed in their individual con- 
cerns, paid little attention to the aggressions of the organization, 
which may be considered, after all, as a natural consequence of the 
existing state of affairs. 

But when at length the excesses became so violent that there 
was no safety and no apparent protection, the feeling spread and 
deepened that somehow the lawlessness must cease, that bounds 
must be set beyond which the self-styled "Regulators" must not 
be permitted to go. The crisis came on the afternoon of Sunday, 
July 15, when a large band of these "Regulators," after a ridiculous 
parade in fantastic costume, committed a dastardly assault on the 
Chilenos, whom, without provocation, they beat and cuffed and 
kicked not only, but wantonly fired upon, seriously wounding many 
defenseless men. When the news spread the town rose to the 
greatest pitch of excitement. 

By dint of the energy' of Sam Brannan and others the commu- 
nity was promptly organized for self-protection. Nearly twenty 
of the desperadoes were speedily arrested and tried, and the leader 
of the gang, Samuel Roberts, was found guilty of the eight counts 
against him. Th "Regulators" were routed, and the incident closed. 

Before passing on, however, it may be observed that "the ease 
with which a number of respectable and determined men could thus 
put down a disorderly gang afterwards encouraged the formation 

9. Popular TrJbunah. I. 78. 
10. CI. Hittell. Hir.t. of California, III, 724-25. 

The Committees of Vigilance of California 35 

of the famous 'Vigilance Committee' of the year 1851"; " and that 
the episode itself marked the rise of the first quasi-vigilance com- 
mittee of San Francisco. 

The lesson of the affair of the Hounds was imperfectly learned 
and too little taken to heart, partly because of the influx of new 
population, and partly because the penalties inflicted had been too 
mild. Almost immediately San Francisco plunged again into 
her social insanity. Few cities indeed have ever been socially and 
morally tried as was San Francisco from 1849 to 1853. The 
strangely disordered and pathologically nervous but withal rap- 
turous life of those days seemed to men looking back upon it for 
even the brief space of half a dozen years like a whirl of wild 
dreams, a fantastic unreality. 

Consider the heterogeneous tide of population that swept in over 
all seas and from all lands. Along with the sturdy pioneers that 
will ever be our pride and glory came also — chiefly from Sydney 
and other ports of the Pacific — "many of the worst specimens of 
ignorant and debased men and women ever witnessed within the 
pale of civilized society." '^ Truly they proved to be a moral pesti- 

Moreover, the delirium of mad speculation became a consuming 
fire. The regular business of the city, where market quotations were 
as fabulous as the tales of Arabian Nights, and interest on money at 
the rate of ten per cent a month and even higher was not uncommon, 
seemed to be but slightly removed from the professional gambling 
that flourished so amazingly and sent many a once innocent youth 
the quick way to perdition. The infection was everywhere: com- 
paratively few were wholly immune. 

Most of the citizens were young men away from home in an 
environment that offered every inducement to turn liberty into 
licence. Few women were there, and of those perhaps a majority 
were not wholly respectable, while many were utterly vile and aban- 
doned. The absence of the home refinements and home restraints 
proved the ruin of many and a curse to the land. To employ the 
words of Dr. W. A. Scott, a pioneer preacher: "Many of the 
scalding tears that have been shed in California, and many of the 
broken hearts that have gone down sorrowing prematurely to the 
grave had been saved, if men's wives and daughters had come with 
them to the Golden State. If men's families were with them they 
would shrink from many of the deeds that now fill our daily 
chronicles of crime. If cheerful hearthstones were their nightly 

1 1 . Annals of San Francisco, 560. 

12. Williams, A Pioneer Pastorate, U5; f/. Annals, 565. 

36 Historical Society of Southern California 

resort, the country would not resemble so much a community of 
outlaws, and unscrupulous bankrupts and murderers." ^^ 

The good men — for such there always were, and they constituted 
a strong majority — neglected the duties of their citizenship by the 
very apathy and absorption in their private affairs, while the base 
and criminal became boldly aggressive, and accordingly more dan- 
gerous to the public weal. "A thirst for gain bums with such ardor 
in our day [declared the faithful preacher] that all who would 
escape its snares must take heed to their ways according to God's 
word." " 

"What is here? 
Gold? yellow, glittering, precious gold? 
Thus much of this will make black, white; foul, fair; 
Wrong, right; base, noble; old, young; coward, valiant. 

Why, this 
Will lug your priests and servants from your sides, 
Pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads: 
This yellow slave 

Will place thieves 
And give them title, knee and approbation 
With Senators on the bench." ^^ 

The social and moral forecast — if men had taken the time to consult 
the oracles — plainly indicated a great conflagration. The failure of 
justice is indicated by the fact that scores of robbers and murderers 
were allowed to go scot free. Not one murder of the hundreds in 
California had as yet been expiated on the gallows : hence we are not 
surprised to be told that "the very courts had become a by-word." ^^ 
Hittell states : "There was no danger whatever of the law, because 
there was no danger that any one that had a particle of money or 
influence could be found guilty or punished : on the contrary, offend- 
ers came to regard a criminal prosecution as a farce." " The great 
Vigilance Committee of 1851, with relentless and tragic activity, 
was the inevitable response to the general cry for retribution and 
protection." ^^ 

In the meantime California was called upon to undergo awful 
baptism by fire. The series of fiery ordeals was due in large meas- 
ure to the moral and social conflagrations then raging, although 
out of them sprang ultimate good to the city. The first great San 
Francisco fire occurred in December, 1849, when cloth houses and 
the wealth stored in them to the extent of $1,000,000 were consumed. 
The second great fire, far more disastrous to the business interests 
than the first, came on May 4, 1850. Little more than a month passed 

13. TheWedgeofGold (I85S), p. lOS. 

14. ;W., 117-18. 

15. Timon of Pericles. 

16. San Francisco Chronicle. Sept. 7, 1900, in Century, Feb., 1892, p. 554. 

17. Vol. Ill, 312; f/. 210. 

18. Century, ep. cit., 555. 

The Committees of Vigilance of California 37 

before the next conflagration, after which cloth houses or tents were 
prohibited within the fire Hmits of the city. But the light redwood 
thenceforth so extensively used in building proved scarcely less 
combustible; and another serious fire visited the city the following 
September. The fire of May 4, 1851, proved most disastrous of all, 
destroying at least $7,000,000 worth of property. After this costly 
lesson, and especially after the Sunday fire of June 22, known as the 
sixth great fire, the buildings erected, in the words of a contempo- 
rary, "show a wonderful improvement in strength and grandeur." ^' 

In San Francisco, if anywhere, and in those days, if ever — days 
of material conflagration and social insanity, of the feverish desire 
of that conglomerate of quasi-sayage civilization to grasp instant 
fortune — were needed sound law and strong government sustained 
by a high and dynamic morality. Those were anomalous days, the 
days of paradoxes. As the city government grew more expensive 
it became less efficient; theft was punished more severely than mur- 
der, "because men carried their fives about with them, and might 
defend them, but property left to itself was defenseless." ^^ The 
establishment of new courts seemed to foster crime, for in the hands 
of the demagogues office was prostituted to the spirit of lawlessness. 
While to the superficial observer all seems unhallowed strife and 
worship of mammon, a careful examination reveals conservative 
forces of great potentiality. Those faithful ministers of the gospel 
of peace, — "Father" Taylor, the Methodist; Dwight Hunt, the Con- 
gregationalist ; Albert Williams, the Presbyterian ; Wheeler, the 
Baptist ; VerMehr, the Episcopalian, and the rest of them, — present 
a page in our pioneer history in striking contrast to the record of 
sordid motives and unworthy deeds. "Happily, the long record of 
vice and immorality [as we read in the Annals] has a bright and 
noble counterpart, like the gold-dust among the muddy atoms of our 
own river beds, that redeems our character from wholesale condem- 
nation." ^^ Dr. Williams writes of the inspiring audiences he was 
wont to address. "These were mostly in the prime of manhood. 
There were few, very few gray hairs then seen. Such an assembly 
of educated, active, strong men, rarely brought together in any 
land, it was a pleasure to look upon, as it was my own privilege 
weekly." ^^ Among men of all classes, striving with might and 
main for gold, there existed, especially in the mining days of '49, 
what seemed an incredible indifiference to money, large sums of dust 
being recklessly left, perchance, in an old oyster can or under the 
pillow in the open tent while the owner was at his day's work. It 

19. Annals of San Francisco, 566: "When the different fires took place in San Francisco, 
bands of plunderers issued from this great haunt of dissipation, [the Alsatia] to help themselve* to 
whatever money or valuables lay in their way, or which they could possibly secure." 

20. Ibid.. 345. 

21. IbiJ.. 6S1. 

22. A Pioneer Pastorate, 141. 

38 Historical Society of Southern California 

would indeed be "a sad necessity to have to think that so much of 
exalted intellect, unexampled energy, and toilsome industry had 
labored only to furnish the pabulum for voluptuous and unbridled 
passion." ^ 

The community of San Francisco was as a whole undoubtedly 
reckless ; yet there was ever a powerful element of virtue and con- 
servatism. Whence, then, came all the mischief? What was the 
besetting social sin?" Professor Royce cannot have been far wrong 
when he pronounced it to be the "tolerance of the open vices of 
those who chose to be vicious." ^ Public sentiment "was not stern 
enough toward social offences, but believed in a sort of irreligious 
liberty, that considered every man's vices ... as a private con- 
cern between his own soul and Satan." The increasing magnitude 
of private business and the growing multiplicity of individual rela- 
tions excluded the vision to the community's imperative demands. 
Good men forgot or ignored the duties of citizenship, and all but 
abandoned the municipality to sin and Satan. While these good 
men — these bad citizens — wrought and while they slept, colossal 
Wrong lifted up its head and stalked abroad. Robbery became 
bolder, incendiarism less covert, and organized crime arrogant and 
defiant, for government itself seemed wrenched into the tool of 
outlawry, while the courts of law seemed to be the fountain heads 
of injustice and anarchy.-^ 

At length the civic conscience was fully aroused. With a mighty 
effort it shook off its long lethargy and stood, as it were, suddenly 
erect and militant. The particular act that thus proved efficacious 
was the Jansen robbery, in February, 1851. The consequent intense 
agitation of the city should have proved a timely warning to those 
bent on crime, but instead they became still bolder — and there 
appeared to be no likelihood that any single offender would be 
brought to justice by the regular agencies. 

Given such a state of affairs on the part of most officials and an 
aggressive criminal class, and given an awakened indignation and 
the necessity for self -protection on the part of those constituting 
the backbone of the community, it is not difficult to advance to the 
acual organization of the great Vigilance Committee of 1851. 

The need of the hour was some form of strong organization 
among lovers of order that should prove adequate to the preserva- 
tion of peace and the enforcement of law. Otherwise there was 
extreme danger of mob control and downright anarchy. Accord- 
ingly, "on the 10th of June, 1851, an organization of prominent 
business men was effected and about 200 names were enrolled under 

23. Annalj of San Francisco, 687. 

24. California, 397. 

25. CI. Annals, 566. 

The Committees of Vigilance of California 39 

what was styled 'The Committee of Vigilance of San Francisco'." ^* 
Its specific objects were "to watch, pursue, and bring to justice the 
outlaws infesting the city, through the regularly constituted courts, 
if possible, through more summary course, if necessary." The mem- 
bers united themselves, to quote exactly from the constitution itself, 
"into an association for the maintenance of the peace and good 
order of society, and the preservation of the lives and property of 
the citizens of San Francisco and do bind ourselves, each unto the 
other, to do and perform every lawful act for the maintenance of 
law and order, and to sustain the laws when faithfully and properly 
administered; but we are determined that no thief, burglar, incen- 
diary or assassin, shall escape punishment, either by the quibbles 
of the law, the insecurity of prisons, the carelessness or corruption 
of the police, or a laxity of those who pretend to administer jus- 
tice." "" For mutual protection and for purging the city of its bad 
characters each member pledged his word of honor, his life, and his 

Great work there was for the Committee. Scarcely had the 
organization been effected and an adjournment taken when, about 
ten o'clock at night, two sharp taps on the fire bell brought the 
members quickly back to headquarters. One John Jenkins, a power- 
ful, vicious-looking man, an ex-convict from Sydney (a "Sydney 
cove"), had burglarized a store on Commercial Street, and, failing to 
make good his escape, was promptly taken to the room of the 

The Committee did not hesitate, but pursued its straight path. 
In an hour Jenkins had been tried for his offense : in two hours, at 
the stroke of midnight, he was pronounced guilty of murder and 
sentenced to be hung. Two hours later a solemn procession marched 
to Portsmouth Square, where the condemned man, in the presence 
of 1000 grim-visaged but approving witnesses, expiated his crime 
by hanging until dead.^ 

The work of Vigilance was heralded quickly abroad throughout 
the State. Scores of San Francisco's best citizens came forward 
to be enrolled as members of the Committee, thus endorsing its acts 
and pledging their support ; while men of Jenkins's class were filled 
with consternation at the unwonted procedure of his prompt arrest 
and quick execution. 

It is obviously impossible here to rehearse in any detail the 
activities of the famous Vigilance Committee of 1851. The Alta 
California, only five days after that terrible scene enacted at Ports- 

26. Coleman, in Century, vol. XLIII, 136. 

27. See alio naiemcnt of Prts. Payran, of the Exec. Com., in Bancroft, Popular Tribunals, 
1, 460. 

28. See Annals, 568 ff., for ronstitution and personoel. 

29. See account! in contemporaneous newtpapers. 

40 Historical Society of Southern California 

mouth Square, says : "It is certainly a fact that since the excitement 
which resulted in the execution, . . . crimes of the more hein- 
ous nature have visibly decreased. . . . Whereas previously 
scarce a night occurred that we had not occasion to note down a 
knocking down, drugging, robbery or burglary, since that night 
there has been but one case of robbery of which we have heard." 
Bancroft asserts that a fortnight had not elapsed before "an entire 
change was noticed in the state of society." " 

On the Uth of July following, at about nine o'clock in the morn- 
ing, the bell of the Monumental Engine House again solemnly sum- 
moned the Vigilance Committee to the consideration of a case that 
meant death to the culprit. This time it was James Stuart, whose 
confession revealed him as perhaps the most colossal villain in Cali- 
fornia, and deeply implicated several others in a long catalogue of 
atrocious crimes. The wretch was condemned to death, and after 
two hours' grace was led forth to the Market Street wharf, where 
he was hung by means of an improvised derrick.^^ 

The work of purging was not yet complete. Samuel Whittaker 
and Robert McKenzie were brought to trial for a list of crimes 
including burglary, robbery, and arson ;they confessed their guilt and 
were condemned to die. On the morning of the 21st of August, 
by a series of quick movements and the possible treachery of some 
of the guards, the prisoners, who had already been in the custody 
of the Committee for weeks, were seized by the sheriff and placed 
in the jail. The upshot of the matter was that on Sunday afternoon, 
August 24, while Rev. Albert Williams was conducting religious 
services for the prisoners, in accordance with his custom, a party 
of Vigilantes abducted Whittaker and McKenzie,^^ hurried them to 
a closed carriage in waiting, and drove them with all haste to the 
Committee headquarters, while the ominous bell at once summoned 
the members and sounded the death knell. The six thousand assem- 
bled men maintained an awful silence during the brief preparation: 
"But so soon as the wretches were swung off, one tremendous shout 
of satisfaction burst from the excited multitude; and then there was 
silence again." ^^ 

These were the last of the four executions conducted by the San 
Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1851 ; but these did not at all 
exhaust the activities of the Committee. During its active operations 
about a score of bad characters were banished from California, and 
many more than that number, recognizing that San Francisco was 
no longer a safe lurking-place for rogues, advisedly took their 
departure for various points in the interior, only to find themselves 

30. Popular Tribunals, I, 258. 

31. For contemporaneous account and confession, see Alta Calijornia. July 12, 1851. 

32. Williams describes this in A Pioneer Pastorate. 117-18. 

33. Annals of San Francisco, 585. 

The Committees of Vigilance of California 41. 

again thwarted in their career of crime by the spirit of watchful- 
ness and vigilance that had spread to every quarter. The official 
record of sentences is as follows : Hanged, 4; whipped, 1 ; deported, 
14; ordered to leave the State, 1; handed over to authorities, 15; 
discharged, 41. The last entry in the book of the Committee bears 
the date of June 30, 1852; but even then the association was not 
formally dissolved. The members stood ready, on occasion, to assert 
themselves and speak out their undoubted supremacy with no uncer- 
tain voice. 

That the work accomplished was one of magnitude and splendor, 
who can now question? The well-nigh unlimited power enjoyed by 
the Committee, by virtue of numbers and wealth, as well as influence 
and energy were used with calmness and solemn moderation, with- 
out the spirit of mobocracy. Quoting the words of another: "The 
mob was mobile, they were firm ; the mob was passionate, they were 
cool; the mob hanged first and tried afterward ; they executed justice 
only after the most solemn judgment." ^* None deplored the neces- 
sity for their acts of terrible retribution more than themselves. Even 
Pastor Williams, under whose very eye Whittaker and McKenzie 
were abducted, gives this verdict : "Deeply as the measures of the 
Committee may have been regretted, in view of their extraordinary 
character, their salutary effect was for a long time visible." ^^ 

The local contemporaneous press, except one newspaper, cor- 
dially endorsed the movement and rendered effective aid ; while in 
the Eastern press opinion was divided,^® several of the most influen- 
tial papers justifying the Committee in strong terms. Note, for 
example, an editorial utterance in the New York Tribune, for July 
19: "We are sufficiently familiar with the characters of the men 
composing the Committee of Vigilance to acquit them of any other 
motive than that of maintaining public order and individual security. 
. . . In spite of these violent exhibitions of popular sentiment, 
the instinct of order, the capacity for self-government, is manifested 
more strongly in California, at this moment, than in any other part 
of the world." " 

An altogether natural consequence of the activities in San Fran- 
cisco was the inspiration and encouragement of similar movements 
in the interior towns and everywhere in the mining camps, where 
the self-dependence of isolated communities rendered vigilance per- 
haps even more needful than in large centers of population. 

One of the first instances of a vigilance committee was the 
"Rough and Ready," in Nevada City, in 1850, which succeeded so 

34. Bancroft, Popular Tribunals, I, 400. 

35. Op. cit., 118. 

36. CI. ylltaCalilornia, Sept. 11. 1851. 

37. Opinion of the San Francisco Grand Jury, 1851, in AnnaU, 581-82. 

42 Historical Society of Southern California 

well that one of the miners conceived the fatuous idea of an inde- 
pendent sovereignty, which should be called the "State of Rough and 
Ready."'* Limitations of this paper forbid even the briefest 
account of the very numerous attempts at popular justice in differ- 
ent parts of California. In the files of the Alia California I have 
read the contemporaneous accounts of many crimes and many cases 
of the arbitrary administration of justice. The issue of June 26th, 
1851, announces that "a Vigilance Committee of 213 signers has 
been formed in Sacramento." In the following November it was 
stated that seventeen murders had been announced within a day or 
two about Marysville, and that the Vigilance Committee would 
"take prompt steps in the premises." ^® During the next spring 
robberies were "of frequent and alarming occurrence" about Moke- 
lumne Hill, and not until the Vigilance Committee executed Carlos 
Esclava in the presence of nearly 1000 witnesses were the people 
satisfied. Under date of May 31, 1852, we read: "The citizens of 
Jackson have formed a Vigilance Committee, for the protection of 
life and property, and the summary punishment of offenders. 
Nearly all the most respectable citizens of that town and vicinity 
have joined it. . . ." *" Finally, May 24, 1854: "The unearthing 
of a gang of thieves and vagabonds, last week, at Downieville, has 
led to the organization of a Vigilance Committee for the better 
preservation of life and property." *^ These are mere samples taken 
at random of what was being done in towns and camps in all direc- 
tions within and beyond the borders of California." 

The raison d'etre of Vigilance is not far to seek. The absence 
of settled law and legal precedent thrust upon each mining camp 
the necessity of formulating rules and regulations for its govern- 
ment, the fundamental propositions usually being the equality of 
all before the bar of justice and the right of every man to have a 
fair and equal chance.*^ While every camp bore a general resem- 
blance to every other, each was different in detail and, to some 
extent, a law unto itself. Often those who get themselves chosen 
judges (or alcaldes) were corrupt; in other instances they lacked 
technical preparation and so were largely under the domination of 
sharp lawyers who could often cause vexatious delays at will. 

By no means were all instances of popular justice in pioneer 
California worthy of respect, much less of approbation. The dis- 
tinction between a vigilance committee and a mob, or lynch law, 
was frequently lost sight of, and many heinous crimes were com- 

38. Hluell, History of California, III, 279-80. 

39. November 14. 

40. Quoted from Caliveras Chronicle, May 29, 1852. 

41. Quoted from Sierra Citizen. 

42. For extended account, cf. Bancroft, Popular Tribunals, I, 8; for general result, see 
Anoals, 586. 

43. CI. Hittell, California, III, 2S7. 

The Committees of Vigilance of California 43 

mitted in the name of popular justice. Indeed, the horrible spec- 
tacle of the hanging of Barclay at Chinese Camp in 1855, under 
peculiarly revolting circumstances, deservedly brought on a feeling 
of revulsion and disgust for lynch law. The conduct of the crowd 
was brutal, disgraceful, savage. 

I must merely touch upon the great San Francisco Committee 
of Vigilance of 1856, which will ever hold a memorable place in 
our unique history. The task is too great, for this subject itself 
rightly demands an entire discussion. 

It will be recalled that the first great Committee was not for- 
mally dissolved, but that its members stood ready to assert them- 
selves on occasion. For many months after its active operations 
had ceased, the organization continued a potential check to vicious 
or unscrupulous elements of the city. But as the terrible warnings 
of the hangman's noose began to fade from the memory and vigi- 
lance began to be relaxed, while other human vultures swept down 
upon the city, greedy for their prey, the law again fell on evil 
times. The forces of villainy and crime, taking a lesson from recent 
history, showed themselves more intelligent if equally unprincipled, 
more crafty if at the same time more utterly demoralizing. "Behind 
the shield raised against crime," wrote Boncroft," "crime itself was 
stationed with the sword of justice in its hand. Sitting in judgment, 
villains sold justice for money, or sent triumphant vice abroad in 
the livery of virtue." 

The method was to capture primaries, stuflf ballot-boxes, and 
become intrenched in public office. The forces I of corruption 
wrought mightily while the virtuous slept. Sadly must it be con- 
fessed — it was ever thus. By means of ingeniously-contrived false- 
bottomed ballot boxes iniquitous men were voting themselves into 
office. It is recorded how Captain Lees of the police force found in 
a saloon on First Street, near Mission, one of the "so-called double 
improved back-action ballot-boxes" — apparently one of many. The 
Vigilance Committee subsequently secured it, and on several occa- 
sions used it with telling effect for exhibition purposes." It became 
unsafe for honest voters to approach the polls, for if too many such 
appeared, a set of bullies and shoulder strikers were on hand to 
knock them down, and render life itself insecure. 

The political degradation to which San Francisco sank is attribu- 
table largely to three causes pointed out by Mr. Hittell: (1) the 
general unsettled condition and rush for gold ; as a consequence 
the respectable classes avoided politics, and political conventions 
became a farce; (2) the county and municipal officers were, as a 

44. Popular Tribunals, II. S. 

45. CI. Hittell, HItlory ot California, III, 526. 

44 Historical Society of Southern California 

rule, grossly inefficient and corrupt, as is perfectly obvious when we 
remind ourselves of the fact that over 1000 homicides were com- 
mitted in San Francisco between 1849 and 1856 with but one legal 
execution; and (3) excessive gambling and over-speculation were 
followed by a material decline of production in placer mining after 
1853, leading to the commercial panic of 1854.** But, as in 1851, 
the chief besetting social sin was that of being engrossed in the 
strife for gold and kindred private ends to the sad neglect of social 
and civic duties. Accordingly the voice of the honest voter was 
smothered by the midnight frauds, the arm of law was struck down 
by the slung-shot of a corrupt officiary. 

The event that was made the occasion for the organization of the 
Vigilance Committee, as everybody knows, was James Casey's attack 
on James King of William, the free lance editor of the Bulletin.*^ 
William T. Coleman was asked to head the new movement ; and 
being assured of absolute obedience and absolute secrecy, he 
accepted the awful responsibility. Here I must be pardoned while 
I pause to remark that in any calendar of great Californians, the 
name of W. T. Coleman should find a conspicuous place of honor. 
His supreme courage, his consummate ability in generalship, his 
absolute personal honesty and the poise of his judgment, and withal 
his noble self-sacrificing devotion to public duty mark him as one 
of the truly great whether we view these as qualities of the man or 
measured by their beneficent results. When he died the venerable 
editor of the New York Sun wrote: "Surely if there are great 
men now-a-days, Coleman was one, and they who knew him truly 
as he was, may well be grateful to Heaven for the privilege." *^ 

During its first twenty- four hours some 1500 members enrolled 
in the great Committee. Organization went forward with amaz- 
ing rapidity; by a complete system of drills military precision was 
attained in an incredibly short time. 

When on the afternoon of May 20 the sad intelligence of King's 
death from his wound spread through the city, all places of business 
were closed, the streets rapidly filled with sorrowful faces, and on 
the arm of almost every man was a badge of mourning.*^ Such a 
demonstration had never been witnessed in San Francisco. While 
the funeral cortege of King, marching four abreast, and a mile in 
length, moved solemnly through the streets, the Committee was 
engaged in the stern business of the execution of Casey, and another 
condemned criminal named Cora, in front of Vigilance headquarters. 

46. Hittell, California, III, 460-62; cf. Alta. January 17, 1856. 

47. Account in Bulletin; quoted in Meriweather Smith, San Francisco Vigilance Committee 
of '16, p. 35. 

48. Constitution of Committee in Smith, op. cit., pp. 40-42. 

49. See eulogy in Smith, op. cit., 53. 

The Committees of Vigilance of California 45 

The work of purging the city had been begun: there could be no 
receding now. 

So completely did the movement captivate the sympathy and 
cooperation of the city that in July the Committee numbered 6000 
men under arms, well equipped, and organized into one battaUon, 
four companies of artillery, one squadron, two troops of dragoons, 
four regiments, and thirty-two companies of infantry. A full corps 
of officers were chosen, the executive committee of twenty-six mem- 
bers named, and a police force equipped. 

Not only were the great body of San Franciscans heart and mind 
with the movement, but it met with prompt and hearty endorsement 
from the leading towns of the interior. From San Jose an offer 
of 1000 men for the Vigilance Committee was telegraphed.^* 

The Committee comprised every nationality, all political parties 
and religious denominations, without distinction of trade or occu- 

There was opposition, to be sure; there were those who pro- 
fessed to believe that there was no real need of organized Vigilance. 
In fact, the contest between the Law and Order Party and the 
Committee became very bitter and at times threatened results too 
terrible to contemplate. What rendered the situation the more 
delicate and difficult was the inconsistent and pusillanimous course 
of Governor Neely Johnson, who seemed quite incapable of rising 
to the occasion in the broad spirit of fairness and conciliation. No 
doubt there was honest difference of opinion, in many instances : 
yet it now seems certain, in view of the antecedents and the existing 
conditions, that many of the very leaders of the Law and Order 
Party were for some time the most dangerous enemies of the people. 
The labors of Vigilance had already been arduous, but for the con- 
tinuance of their work they had pledged "their lives, their fortunes, 
and their sacred honor." 

The motives of those brave men who willingly sacrificed private 
interest in order to discharge this social duty are unimpeachable. 
Hundreds of prominent members might say, as did James D. Far- 
well: "I went into that Committee with as earnest a sense of duty 
as I ever embarked in anything in my life. I went into it as a 
religious duty to society. ... I and my companions of the 
executive committee, also, to a man, were governed by the purest 
motives." "^ In the address of the Committee dated June 9 are these 
straightforward words : "We have no friends to reward, no enemies 
to punish, no private ends to accomplish. Our single heartfelt aim 

50. Bancroft. Popular TribunaU, II. 19S. 

51. Quoted in Bancroft, op. cU., II, 127. 

46 Historical Society of Southern California 

is the public good, the purging, from our community, of those 
abandoned characters. . . ," 

The Committee's officers wished their work at an end and were 
planning final adjournment, when the stabbing of Hopkins by Judge 
Terry of the State Supreme Court thrust upon them perhaps the 
most disagreeable work yet undertaken. 

Finally came the day of adjournment of the Committee, and 
its active work came to an end in a most imposing demonstration. 
The military review on August 8 formed a fitting close to what has 
been called "one of the grandest moral revolutions the world has 
ever witnessed." '* 

The fruits of Vigilance continued to abide. Four men had been 
hanged, thirty banished, and some 80 of the worst characters deemed 
it wise to leave the community without ceremony. Once more the 
atmosphere was clear, the Vigilantes dropped quietly and loyally 
back to their respective callings, and the inherent capacity of the 
American people for self-government was openly vindicated. But 
we may well pray Heaven that a repetition of the scenes enacted 
may never again be required in the Golden State we love so well.^' 

52. Bancroft, op. cit., II, p. 531. For its justification, see Smith, 60. 

53. Note. The writer desires to call attention to two monumental works just Issued from the 
University of California Press. These are, "History of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 
1851." by Mary Floyd Williams, Ph.D., and, "Papers of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance 
of 1851," edited by Doctor Williams, with introduction by Henry Morse Stephens. It is regretted 
that these were received too late to be used la this paper. 



I. Introduction. 

The history of Korea reaches back to a remote period. The 
Koreans themselves claim a national life extending back to at least 
two thousand years B. C. So far as we are able to arrive at the 
facts it appears that in the early period China was the first to give 
the Koreans elements of civilization, and that the Koreans in turn 
became the teachers of the Japanese, giving them much knowledge 
in the way of certain industries and artistic work, "For more than 
twelve hundred years the Korean civilization continued to be the 
strong influence in Japan until in the nineteenth century it w^as 
replaced by European civilization." ^ 

The peninsula of Korea reaches out from the province of Man- 
churia in a southeasterly direction toward Japan. It has an area 
of nearly ninety thousand square miles and is about as large as New 
York and Pennsylvania, or a little more than half the size of the 
Japanese islands. The population is variously given at from fifteen 
to seventeen millions. The peninsula is long and narrow north and 
south, which gives quite a range of climate. In the north the win- 
ters are rather severe, while in the south the climate is mild and 
healthful. The soil is naturally rich and under proper cultivation 
is capable of supporting a much larger population than it has at the 
present time. Korea's geographical position is such that it formed a 
sort of link between China and Japan, and for centuries it has been 
the cause of rivalries and of contests between the two nations. In 
the last years of the sixteenth century the Japanese raided the coun- 
try and waged a bitter war. Great brutality was shown in this 
struggle on the part of the Japanese. The country^ was laid waste 
and desolated, and no mercy was shown to Korean victims. This war 
engendered a hatred for Japanese on the part of the Koreans which 
still continues. The Koreans called the Japanese "the accursed 
nation."^ "From this war the Japanese brought back so many hun- 
dred thousand ears and noses that there is a mound in Kyota, Japan, 
today where they are buried." ' 

II. Discussion. 

China held a sort of protectorate over the country until Febru- 
ary 27, 1876, when Korea's independence was recognized, by a 
treaty signed by Japan. The ports were opened to Japan's trade 

1. Terry. T. Philip. The Japaaese Empire, p. 717. 

2. Ibid. .p.m. 

3. Barsion and Greeabil, "Korea Asserts Herself," Asia, Vol. 19, p. 921. 

48 Historical Society of Southern California 

and a diplomatic minister from Japan was sent to Seoul. In 1883 
the United States recognized Korea's independence, and the follow- 
ing year both Great Britain and Germany did likewise. China, 
however, would not relinquish her claims to the country and sent 
troops for the alleged purpose of putting down rebellion. Japan 
also sent soldiers. After the rebellion was put down China offered 
to withdraw her army, but Japan refused until certain reforms 
were enacted. This unsettled state of affairs continued between 
China and Japan until 1894, when the war broke out between the 
two countries over Korea.* 

At the close of the war the independence of Korea was recog- 
nized by both China and Japan. The latter country, however, did 
not withdraw her influence, but continued to exercise authority and 
mastery more than she had ever done.^ The Japanese showed a 
spirit of superiority to the Koreans that was very annoying to them. 
"If the Japanese continue in their arrogance and rudeness all respect 
and love due to them will be lost and there will remain hatred 
and enmity against them." " These were the words of Count Inouye, 
the new Japanese minister to Korea. He denounced the conduct of 
the Japanese immigrants who were pouring into the country. 

The Queen was a woman of great ability and exercised a strong 
influence over the King. She was opposed to the aggressive policy 
of the Japanese. Count Inouye left Korea in September, 1895, and 
Viscount Miura succeeded him as minister. A plot was hatched 
by Miura and the Japanese Secretary of Legation, Fukashi Sugi- 
mura, and others, to take the Queen's life. The plans were carried 
out and the Queen was seized and assassinated in the palace not 
long after Miura became minister. Meanwhile the Russians were 
becoming active in the Far East and were seeking every means to 
strengthen their hold on the country in and around Manchuria. 
After the murder of the Queen the King and Crown Prince escaped 
from the palace to the Russian Legation, where he exercised 

The haughty and domineering attitude of the Japanese in Korea, 
the murder of the Queen, and the presence of the King at the 
Russian Legation all tended to give Russia a mighty influence in the 
country. Nor was she slow to take the best advantage of the oppor- 
tunity. Contracts were made between Russian officials and the 
Korean government which gave the former large economic consid- 
erations in Korea. Rights were given for Russia to cut vast areas 
of timber in northern parts. It was generally thought at the open- 
ing of the twentieth century that Russia was the great menace 

4. Am. Jottrn. of Intertntional Ltta, VI, "Japan and Korea," Editorial, p. 46. 

5. Nation. Vol 100, "Japan as Colonial Administrator" (Editorial, p. 702). 

6. McKenzie, Korea's Fight for Freedom, p. SO. 

Japan and Korea Since 1910 49 

of British India, China, and Japan. Japan sent Prince Ito to St. 
Petersburg to seek an alliance with Russia. But this being refused, 
she entered into an agreement with Great Britain, which, while it 
gave no sanction for any aggressive policies toward China or Korea, 
did recognize that Japan had special interests in the latter country.' 

On April 28, 1898, Russia and Japan signed an agreement at 
Tokyo by which the independence of Korea was recognized, and 
both nations promised not to interfere in its internal affairs. How- 
ever, Russia agreed not to interfere with Japan's commercial and 
industrial activities in Korea.** At this time Russia leased from 
China the Liaotung Peninsula. After having refused to allow Japan 
to retain this peninsula after the China-Japanese War it is quite 
probable that her generosity to Japan in Korea was because of her 
leasing Liaotung. A little later Russia again became aggressive in 
the country. This, together with her high-handed conduct in Man- 
churia, led to the war of 1904 with Japan. 

A protocol was signed February 23, 1904, by which Korea 
agreed that in matters of improvement and administration she 
would be guided by Japan, and Japan pledged the safety of the royal 
house of Korea and guaranteed the independence and territorial 
integrity of Korea. To secure the safety of the royal house Japan 
was to occupy such places as were of strategical importance. 
Neither power could make an arrangement with a third power 
derogative to the protocol without mutual consent. On August 22, 
1904, Korea agreed that she would take no independent action 
relating to foreign relations and finance without consulting Japan.* 

After the Russo-Japanese war Korea became practically a Jap- 
anese province. An agreement was signed April 1, 1905. which 
gave to Japan the control of the postal, telegraph, and telephone 
service. In the following November Prince Ito was sent to Korea 
by Japan as resident-general. Directly after reaching Seoul he 
sought an interview with the Emperor and presented a series of 
demands which were drawn in treaty form. They provided that 
Japan should have entire control of foreign relations of Korea 
and that her diplomatic ministers should all be recalled from the 
foreign courts. The administration of the country was to be given 
into the hands of the resident-general under the Emperor and the 
Japanese Consuls of the different districts were to be made local 

The acts gave Japan almost entire control of Korea. We are 
not to understand, however, that these concessions were made 

7. MrKcn?ie, Korea's Fight (or Freedom, p. 61. 

«. Thf Am. Jour, of Intrr. Law, Vol. I, Japan and Korea (Editcrml, p. 44). 

9. Ibid. 
10. McKenzif, Korea's Fight for Freedom, p. 89. 

50 Historical Society of Southern California 

willingly. In October, 1905, the Emperor of Korea appealed directly 
to the United States Government through Homer B. Hulbert, editor 
of the Korean Review. Mr. Hulbert carried the petition to Wash- 
ington. On November 25th, Secretary Root sent a message to Mr. 
Hulbert stating that since the letter had been sent the Emperor had 
entered into a new arrangement with Japan which disposed of the 
whole question referred to in the letter, and therefore it seemed 
unwise to take any action. The day following this statement from 
Mr. Root, the Emperor cabled Mr. Hulbert as follows : "I declare 
that the so-called treaty of protectorate recently concluded between 
Korea and Japan was extorted at the point of the sword and 
under duress and therefore is null and void. I never consented 
to it and never will. Transmit to American Government." ^^ Of 
course, nothing was done by our government. But from the 
Korean standpoint the case is especially pathetic because in 1882, 
at the time the United States recognized the independence of 
Korea this pledge was given in Article I of the treaty: "If 
other Powers deal unjustly or oppressively with either govern- 
ment, the other will assert their good offices, on being informed 
of the case, to bring about an amicable arrangement thus 
showing their friendly feeling." ^^ Mr. Roosevelt later said that by 
treaty Korea was to remain independent, but that inasmuch as the 
Koreans could not maintain the treaty other nations could not be 
expected to do for them what they could not do for themselves. ^^ 

As resident-general Prince Ito did much for Korea. When he 
took charge there was a large class of Japanese in the country who 
may be compared to the Carpet-baggers of the South in the Recon- 
struction period in our own Government. They preyed upon the 
natives and were indifferent to law or right. Prince Ito at once 
dealt harshly with this class. Many of them were sent back to 
Japan. Practically every writer bears evidence to the work of 
Prince Ito as calculated to better the Koreans. The people did 
not respond to his policies but usually resisted. 

There were several reasons for this opposition. For centuries 
the Korean government had been very inefficient. Corruption, 
bribery, rascality, and incompetency were perhaps its most marked 
features. It was the aim of the Japanese Government through its 
resident-general to change these conditions and institute a better 
system. The Koreans vigorously opposed the change. Those who 
had been beneficiaries under the old system of graft found their 
incomes reduced; others who had fattened through the injustice of 
the old judicial system found themselves without positions ; and the 

1 1 . McKenzie, Korea's Fight for Freedom, p. 100. 

12. Ibid., p. 98. 

13. Ibid., p. lOl. 

Japan and Korea Since 1910 51 

masses of the people were compelled to take a much more rapid 
stride under the new regime much to their dislike. 

Another reason for opposition to the Japanese administration 
was that the Koreans were compelled to discard long cherished 
customs. People were not allowed to wear white dress in the win- 
ter. Every one must be attired in dark clothes. Every inducement 
was used to have the natives cut the hair. Those holding public 
office must cut the hair. Naturally there was strong opposition to 
these regulations. 

But perhaps the greatest cause for antagonism to Japanese 
administration was the old hatred of centuries for the Japanese and 
the feeling that the people were forcibly brought under a govern- 
ment which had as its goal the assimilation of the people and the 
stamping out of national feeling. 

In July, 1906, the Emperor was practically made a prisoner. He 
was withdrawn from his friends and surrounded by Japanese. He 
thought that if he put his case before the nations and showed that he 
had not given his consent to the protectorate the Powers would 
render aid. Accordingly three Korean delegates of high standing 
were secretly sent to the Hague Conference in 1907. But on their 
arrival they were not allowed a hearing. Directly following this 
the Emperor was forced to abdicate and his son, who was a man 
of feeble intellect, was crowned. A new treaty was made with 
Japan at this juncture which provided that no laws or important 
measures could be acted upon without the consent of the resi- 
dent-general. "All officials were to hold their positions at the 
pleasure of the resident-general, and the Government agreed to 
appoint any Japanese the resident-general might recommend to any 
post. Finally, the Government of Korea was to engage no foreign- 
ers without the consent of the Japanese head." ^* 

Prince Ito was killed by a Korean Christian in October, 1909, 
This act was very detrimental to the people because as has been 
noted Prince Ito was trying to better conditions in the country. 
His assassination lost sympathy for the Korean cause on the part 
of many. But more serious was the reaction it brought about in 
Japan. Up to this time civil rule had been exercised in the country. 
The new resident-general, Count Terauchi, was a military man. and 
he gave the country a much more rigorous government than Prince 
Ito had done. From the beginning of his administration until the 
present time military supervision has largely obtained. On August 
23, 1910, Korea was formally annexed to Japan, although to all 
intents and purposes it had been under Japanese control since 1905. 
The royal family was given peerage and was promised that their 
income would not be diminished as a result of annexation. 

14. McKenzie, Koret'i Fifiit for Freedom, p. 124. 

52 Historical Society of Southern California 

It is the opinion of several writers that Japan was compelled 
to annex Korea in self-defense. We have seen that there had been 
a rivalry between China and Japan for centuries over this country. 
With the China-Japanese War in 1894, there was no longer a fear 
from China. But Russia began to show unmistakable signs that 
she had designs on Korea. It is altogether probable that had not 
her aggressions in the Far East been checked in 1904 and 1905 
Russia would have soon exerted a large influence in the country. 
But there was no assurance that Russia's defeat would be permanent. 
Until the revolution and overthrow of her government in the Great 
War she was still considered a strong factor in the Far East. Korea 
was unable to defend herself or take her place as an independent 
power among the nations. Unprotected, she was a constant menace 
to Japan because of her close proximity. Her relation to Japan 
geographically is not unlike that of Ireland to England. Further- 
more, her people and religion, together with her nearness to the 
Island Empire, all offered very plausible arguments for annexation. 

We have seen that Japan had been actively engaged in furthering 
the material conditions in Korea for several years (prior to 1910). 
Writers generally are agreed that great development has come 
since Japanese occupation. Under the old government the railroads, 
highways, telegraphs, schools, law courts, sanitation, and currency 
were in a deplorable condition. Japan has greatly extended the 
railroads, and the public highways. One writer states that in travel- 
ing through the country the railway stations and towns and villages 
bear every evidence of thrift. Another states that the people of 
Korea "are beginning to show a bent toward industry. The increase 
in the rice crop is 25 per cent a year ; wheat and barley, 40 per cent ; 
native cotton, 87 per cent, and upland cotton, 200 per cent. The 
area of cultivated land is increasing at the rate of 15 per cent a 
year. Japan is not trying to exploit Korea, but is trying to de- 
velop it." " 

Japan has done and is doing much to reforest the country. 
Many of the mountains are entirely denuded of trees. "In 1812 
three millions of pine trees were planted. Now (1912) there are 
one hundred thirty nurseries of trees and six pine trees are given 
yarly to each citizen." ^*^ 

Japan has introduced a public school system. Under the Korean 
government there were almost no schools except those conducted by 
the Christian missions. Prince Ito began the system of public educa- 
tion. There are now common and high schools, commercial, indus- 
trial, agricultural and medical schools. The agricultural schools 
are doing much in preparing the students to become scientific 

15. F. H. Smith in Independent, Vol. 77, p. 43. 'The Resurrection of Korea." 

16. David Starr Jordan, in Rev. of Revs., Vol 46, p. 21, "Japan's Task in Korea. 

Japan and Korea Since 1910 53 

farmers. Under the old system no one had an opportunity to secure 
an education above reading and writing, except the higher classes. 
Japan also applied scientific sanitation in Korea. Sewers 
were built, disease treated scientifically and public health was pro- 

Korea had very poor financial methods. Japan completely over- 
hauled this and established a new monetary system based on the 
gold standard. In everything that has to do with material pros- 
perity and welfare great improvement has been made under Japan's 

Three years after Japan took possession of Korea Count Teraueli 
made an official report of his administration in Chosen, as it is now 
called. A few items from this report are here given. In 1909 the 
total amount of trade was 52,890,000 odd yen (a yen is worth 50 
cents). In 1911 the trade was 72,940,000 odd yen. and in 1913 was 
102,450,000 yen.^^ The increase in rice production, as given in this 
report, also shows the work of the Japanese. Between 1908 and 
1910 the average annual amount of rice harvested was 8,000,000 
koku. In 1911, the year after annexation, the crop was 10.070,000 
koku. The report shows a great stimulus in live stock raising. In 
1909 the total number of cattle in Japan was 628,000; in 1912 the 
number was 1,040,000.^^ Not only has the number of cattle in- 
creased, but the quality has been improved. 

One writer sums up Japan's work in Korea thus : "Japan has 
given the Koreans reliable courts, a just financial system and honest 
weights and measures." Whatever faults and abuses Japan is 
responsible for, the blessings she is giving Korea, of safe society, 
of justice, of knowledge, of commerce, of agriculture, of roads, of 
healthful conditions, are the beginning of a new life for the people. 
A missionary said ; "They dress better, eat better, and do better 
than ever before, and the government that can bring about these 
things must be given the credit of having a moral purpose on a 
large scale." '^ 

But the natives have not been happy under Japanese rule ; and 
the ill feeling reached a climax in March, 1919, when revolution 
broke out and they declared themselves independent. Although 
Japan has conferred great benefits on the people in the ways above 
mentioned she has been lamentably deficient in some things that are 
vital to the success of any nation called to rule over a subject people. 
It has been seen that Korea was given a modern public school sys- 
tem, but it is a requirement of the Japanese Government that the 
Korean language shall not be taught in the schools. Furthermore, 

17. Results of Three Years of Administration in Chosen, p. 19. 

!<!. I hid., p. 26. 

19. Dr. J. H. DcForest, ia Independent. Vol. 70. p. 13, 'The Moral Purp,ise of Japan in 

54 Historical Society of Southern California 

the teaching is such as to crush out the knowledge and memory 
of the history and institutions of Korea and in its place to instill 
a national patriotism for Japan. The Korean students are encour- 
aged in utilitarian education. The charge is made that the Japanese 
students in Korea are given superior advantage in the schools, and 
are offered more advanced courses than the native students are 
allowed to take. Finally, the Korean student is not allowed to go 
abroad to study, except to Japan. The people naturally feel that 
they are discriminated against. Count Terauchi, in his official 
report, states that the "Greatest stress in the new educational system 
was laid on common and industrial education, and it was arranged 
that higher education should gradually be given while great care 
was taken, at the same time, that the new system should agree 
with the need of the times and popular conditions." ^^ While there 
may be good reason for this course it would seem unwise to make 
it impossible for the Korean student to avail himself of equal advan- 
tages with the Japanese both in the educational courses he may take 
and in going to foreign countries for study. 

Another charge made is that the Japanese exploit the people, 
especially in getting control of their land. According to one writer 
the land of Korea is divided into four classes : private, royal, munici- 
pal and Buddhist temple lands. The Japanese Government con- 
fiscated the land belonging to the royal family, the temples and the 
municipalities, on the ground that these lands belonged to the State. 
This real estate was then sold or leased to Japanese farmers, never 
tb Koreans. The Japanese Government has given sanction to the 
Oriental Colonization Company, whose object is to settle Japanese 
immigrants in Korea. The Company will pay the passage of the 
immigrant and secure him a piece of land, with the understanding 
that he will pay back when he is able.^^ The same writer is author- 
ity for the statement that one-third of the land is already in the 
hands of Japanese. One method of forcing the Koreans from their 
farms is for the Japanese to purchase an upper tract of irrigated 
territory and then having shut off the water from the lower district 
force the Koreans to sell at a mere nominal price. 

Still another grievance is that the people are denied the free 
use of their money. The wealthy Koreans must have Japanese 
stewards who have complete control of their business affairs. All 
expenditures must be scrutinized by this steward, and his sanction 
secured before purchases can be made. 

But perhaps the most serious complaint is that the Japanese 
do not give the Koreans any voice in government, or if they are 
allowed governmental positions they are so restricted by Japanese 

20. Results of Three Years' Administration in Chosen, p. 52. 

21. Henry Chung, in Jsia, Vol. 19, p. 467, "Korea Today." 

Japan and Korea Since 1910 55 

officials that they have no power. This charge is refuted by Pro- 
fessor Ladd. He states that of thirteen provinces in the country the 
governors are Koreans, with the exception of four or five ; that all 
the district magistrates are Koreans, and many of the high officials 
in the courts of justice. ^^ Other writers deny that the Koreans have 
these privileges.-^ Henry Chung says that in order to be sincere 
and true Japan must either "give the Koreans complete indepen- 
dence, autonomy, or a voice in making and administering their own 
laws and in selecting the executive and judiciary of the country." 
A number of writers agree that Japan has shown a spirit of supe- 
riority in relation to Korea. The natives are treated as an inferior 
race, and are given small consideration by the Japanese officials. 

The above reasons are some of the most oustanding grievances. 
But back of all these things is the deep-seated hostility toward Japan 
and the consciousness of the people that their independence was 
forcibly taken away, and that the policy of Japan seems to be to 
root out entirely national consciousness and assimilate the people. 

The climax was reached March 1, 1919, when the Koreans began 
a passive revolution and declared themselves independent of Japan.^* 
There are three points in this Proclamation worthy of note. They 
are called the "Three Items of Agreement." 

1. "This work of ours is in behalf of truth, religion, and life, 
undertaken at the request of our people, in order to make known 
their desire for liberty. Let no violence be done to any one." 

2. "Let those who follow us, every man, all the time, every 
hour, show forth with gladness this same mind." 

3. "Let all things be done decently and in order, so that our 
behavior to the very end may be honourable and upright." 

The spirit of these Items of Agreement seems to have dominated 
the revolutionists at all times. While the movement was quite 
general throughout the country the people did not show a violent 
attitude. But the same cannot be said of the Japanese. The offi- 
cials used a heavy hand everywhere. The utmost severity was 
shown. Thousands were arrested in Seoul within a few days. 
Everywhere unspeakable cruelty and brutality were exercised. The 
Koreans were cut down by the sword, were shot, even flogged and 
tortured. Women were subjected to the worst of indecencies. 
These atrocities became the more revolting because the Koreans did 
not ofifer violence, but, on the contrary, as we have seen, were for- 
bidden any such course by the Items of Agreement. The Japanese 
carried their inhuman methods so far that the missionaries and 

22. George Trumbull Ladd in Yalf Reiuv:. Vol. I. New Series, p. 639, "The Annexation 
of Korea." 

23. McKenzie, Korea's Fipln for Freedom, p. 198. Henry Chung in Asia, Vol. 19, p. 467, 
"Korea Today." 

24. See McKenzie, p. 247, for the Proclamation of Korean Independence. 

56 Historical Society of Southern California 

white people living in Korea raised vigorous protests. Indeed, the 
civilized world stood amazed. 

In offering a measure of defense the Japanese Government 
states that the outrages were committed without the knowledge or 
sanction of Japanese officials. While there may be some truth in 
this statement, it does not relieve Japan of responsibility, by any 

These violent measures failed to crush the spirit of independence. 
On April 23, 1919, when the persecutions were at their worst, dele- 
gates from the thirteen provinces met in Seoul, organized a republi- 
can form of government and elected a president. Dr. Syngman 
Rhee. Dr. Rhee was in America and set up headquarters in Wash- 

III. Conclusion. 

The world is so busy with wars, peace treaties, and national 
and international reconstruction that the Korean troubles have been 
largely overlooked. But, when one makes examination he finds 
there are great and difficult problems that will require the utmost 
skill and wisdom in solving. 

The question is more significant now than it would have been at 
an earlier period because of the world importance of the Far East. 
Each succeeding year emphasizes afresh the fact that the Pacific 
is destined to be in the near future the great center of the world's 
activity and thought. Furthermore, Japan seems destined to play 
a most important part in the world's future movements. Her popu- 
lation, together with the natural increase, compel her to seek homes 
for her people outside her own kingdom. But at this point strong 
opposition is met. The United States. Canada, Australia, New 
Zealand — the countries controlled by white people — refuse to receive 
the Japanese as colonizers. China is already densely populated. 
Korea and Eastern Siberia offer almost the only outlet to Japan's 
surplus population, which is increasing at the rate of 800,000 a 
year. Korea, as has been seen, lies in such geographical relation to 
Japan that it easily comes within the natural boundaries of her 
kingdom. Practically all writers are agreed that the government 
had become so inefficient that it could not hope to maintain its 
independence against the world powers. If, then, Korea must be 
taken under control by a stronger power, clearly there were good 
arguments why Japan should have the first right. Her geographical 
position, her own safety against another nation's seizing the terri- 
tory, racial affinities between the two peoples, and religious and 
social instincts — all combine in the interests of Japan's domination 
of Korea. 

We have seen the opposition on the part of Korea to Japan's 

Japan and Korea Since 1910 57 

taking her territory. But is there hope that this opposition may 
be overcome? It is the behef of different writers who are in a 
position to know that it may in time. But it seems clear that so far 
Japan has not taken the right course to win the loyalty of Korea. 
Instead of allowing the people their own language and traditions 
she seems bent on crushing out all national tendencies. Instead of 
placing the Koreans on an equality with the Japanese and giving 
some m.easure of local government she treats them as inferiors and 
shuts them out from positions of trust and honor in the government. 
She has ruled them largely by military rather than civil regulations, 
and now the crowning act of folly has been committed in the brutal- 
ity with which the revolutionists have been treated. 

The history of colonization for the past four hundred years 
proves that tyrannical methods in dealing with subject peoples fail. 
Spain, Portugal, and Holland tried these methods, but they did not 
succeed. The policy of England in the nineteenth and twentieth 
centuries, — a policy of giving the colonies entire self-government 
and every right that belongs to her subjects at home, — has proven 
to the world the wisdom of her course. Will Japan be wise and 
learn the lesson? Premier Hara has promised to substitute civil 
for military government in Korea, and to bring in other reforms. 
Will the pledge be kept? 



What does the word "reminiscence" recall? Pleasing incidents 
of the past, and tragic events ! Can you see in your mind's eye the 
picture I shall draw of a cold, dark evening on the last day of 
November, 1849 — a picture of two emigrant wagons halted before 
the church of the Mission San Gabriel, the oxen too wear}^ from 
their long trip across the plains to lift their tired feet? The two 
yoke of oxen were all that were left my family after an Indian 
raid while crossing the plains from Texas to California. 

My father, Mr. John R. Evertsen, his wife and three children, 
together with two negro servants, made up the party. To my 
mother, ill and worn from the long voyage, the Mission seemed like 
a haven of rest, and with a sigh of content she lay back among her 

In a short time we were surrounded by the Mission Indians, 
quiet, inoffensive creatures, only curious to see white people. 
Among them was Doiia Victoria Reid, Indian wife of Hugo Reid, 
Scotch traveler and scholar. To her the first white child she had 
ever seen was a great curiosity. The Indians brought presents of 
dried fruit and nuts, filling my apron with them and jabbering 
among themselves about my clothing. Short skirts on a girl were 
something unknown in their experience. 

Among Dona Victoria's numberless servants were Juan Juncas, 
still living, at the age of one hundred and five, at the Mission ; 
Chona, Monica, Marenciana, and Pinacate, who stand foremost in 
my memory. With my meeting with Doha Victoria began a friend- 
ship between an Indian woman and a little white girl which lasted 
throughout her lifetime. Presents and affection were equally show- 
ered upon me. Every day some one of Doiia Victoria's criadas 
came to escort me to her home. Although she possessed diamonds 
and pearls in quantity, my parents allowed me to receive only the 
most simple presents. One incident comes back to me often when 
thinking of her. She had insisted upon my accepting a small breast 
pin. A short time afterward a celebration of the Fiesta of Dia San 
Juan occurred at the home of Don Miguel Blanco. In riding to 
the picnic on a jolting carreta the pin, becoming loosened, slipped 
from my dress and was lost in the dust of the roadway. Fearing 
that Dofia Victoria might think I had been careless with it I 
refrained from telling her. But one day she asked me, "Where 
is your pin? Never mind." she added, when I had told her. "I 

Reminiscences of Mission San Gabriel 59 

will give you another — a larger and prettier one." This one I 
wore for many years. 

Not being able to find a suitable house at the Mission my father 
decided to move on to the Pueblo de Los Angeles, where we 
remained a year. But he determined to return to the Mission and 
make it his home. He found a room in the abandoned Mission 
building running north from the church ; one large room and an 
outside four-adobe-walls with an opening called a door, which 
could be used as a kitchen, whose only inhabitants were squirrels 
and pinacates, the latter a black beetle, very offensive when dis- 
turbed. There my mother tried making her first bread, which my 
father said was most economical, as it lasted two weeks. 

By pouring water on the floors of our rooms we could allay the 
dust enough to sweep. To tell of the fleas would take one entire 
chapter. Tiled roof and heavy beamed ceiling completed the living 
room. There my father decided to remain until he looked for a 
home. He was not long in settling in an old olive orchard, pre- 
viously belonging to the Padres, but now open to settlers. He imme- 
diately began the construction of a house, which is still standing, 
and worth visiting, as it shows what the united efforts of the 
unskilled labor of one gentleman, an Indian, and two small children 
could accomplish. The first roof was of tides gathered at Lake 
vineyard and bound in bundles by the children. It lasted several 
years, being replaced by clapboards hauled from San Bernardino, 
where there was a sawmill. There were no shingles made at that 
time in Southern California. 

Life was calm and pleasant now. We had plenty of olives, 
while meat could be obtained whenever a vaquero felt inclined to 
lasso a steer and butcher it. That meant when he was hungry 
enough, as the cattle roamed over hill and dale, to be killed and 
cut up wherever most convenient. 

These were the pleasant incidents of our lives. Other more 
disagreeable and tragic things came when more emigrants arrived 
and set up small tiendas, or stores, in which they sold agua ardiente. 
Then came the downfall of the poor Indian. Men and women both 
spent their wages on Saturday night and lay drunk on Sunday in 
the streets, unless dragged away by their sober friends. And tragic 
beatings of harmless wives at the hands of intoxicated husbands 
were the order of the day. Under the peaceful regime of the 
Padres the Indians had been kept busy, and so escaped temptation. 
But now there was no law or redress of any kind against those who 
sold them liquor. Their constitutions became so undermined that 
when an epidemic of smallpox came in 1862 they succumbed en 

My father, having completed our home, planted a vegetable gar- 

60 Historical Society of Southern California 

den. He raised the first okra in California, which I have never 
seen surpassed. He also bought some sheep, so that we often had 
the best of lamb on our table. There was no butter in the country 
except that which came around the Horn, and no milk. My father 
hired two vaqueros to lasso and bring in a wild cow. With the aid 
of the two men he managed to drag the struggling animal up to a 
large olive tree and tie her head first. Then her legs were wound 
around again and again with riatas. But she refused to be milked. 
At the risk of his life my father slashed the rope that held her 
and jumped behind a tree. With a wild bellow the cow disappeared 
with some yards of rope hanging to her horns. 

Having made some pleasant friends during the year we spent in 
the Pueblo my father invited them from time to time to visit us 
at the Mission. So it came to pass that such gentlemen as General 
Magruder, J. Lancaster, Brent, Mr. Rand, then editor of the Los 
Angeles Star, Dr. Cullen, and others whose names I do not recall, 
but whose faces are still distinct in my memory, came to stay two 
or three days or over week-ends with us. As General Magruder re- 
marked, they were only too glad of an opportunity to speak with an 
American lady once more. 

Those were happy days for me, roaming the hills and gullies for 
flowers, and feeding the little lambs abandoned by their mothers to 
the mercy of crows or coyotes. All was peaceful until the water 
question arose. More Americans moving in demanded more system. 
My father sat in council with them, and they agreed to use the 
water on certain days in different sections. But some, more greedy 
than others, helped themselves to more than their share. One day 
my father, irrigating his garden, noticed the water running more 
slowly than usual. He decided to see what was the matter. He 
found that one of the neighbors had opened the dam and turned the 
water into his own ditch. This big, burly man stood with his shot- 
gun in his hand defying my father to do anything. My father was 
a peaceful man. We even possessed no firearms at that time. We 
felt no need of them among the Indians. But we had an old heir- 
loom of a sword in the house. My mother said she never had seen 
my father so angry as when he came home then. He seized the 
sword in both hands and dashed towards the dam. Regardless of 
the neighbor's gun he ordered him away. His looks must have 
been very awesome, for the shotgun was dropped, while its owner 
threw up both hands and cried, "My God, Mr. Evertsen ! Don't 
kill me !" 

This occurrence decided my father to leave the Mission. He said 
that the same thing would happen again with others, and that he 
would rather go away than to be continually fighting over the water. 
He made his arrangements for a trip to Nicaragua. 

Reminiscences of Mission San Gabriel 61 

My mother refused to go with him this time, saying that we 
children needed an education, and that she would remain with us 
until such time as he could send for us. In the next mail we re- 
ceived a letter telling of my father's death of the fever of the 
country. We never knew where he was buried, or what became 
of his money. 

The burden of the family was now thrown on my mother and 
brother. Rough and tough specimens of humanity arriving daily 
compelled us to purchase and learn to use firearms. My mother 
became a good shot with a Colt's revolver, and my brother a most 
excellent hunter. Now we had venison, rabbits, and birds of all 
kinds from his game pouch. 

All kinds of bad characters came to rest at the Mission and 
rob the peaceful inhabitants. Even Joaquin Murrietta was in hiding 
there at one time, harbored by others like him. One night our 
house was entered by six robbers, whom my brother resisted and 
routed at the risk of his life, one of them leaving him bleeding and 
stunned on the floor. He was only fourteen years of age at the 
time. My mother, whom one of the robbers tried to choke, never 
regained the full use of her voice again. 

We moved from the Mission San Gabriel in 1859 or 1860. For 
fifty or sixty years I lost sight of Juan Juncas, one of the few In- 
dians of Dona Victoria's retinue who survived the smallpox plague. 
One day about fifteen years ago I visited the Mission in the hope 
of finding someone who could tell me something of Dona Victoria's 
grandchildren. I bought a bag of buns from a bake-wagon, and 
then followed a pathway south of the old church to where I had been 
told some of the early Mission Indians still lived. In a vacant lot 
near where the Padres' old orange grove had stood when we lived 
at the Mission I saw a barefooted old Indian plowing, with two 
mules. He looked familiar to me. When I asked him his name he 
said ' :'Juan de Todos los Santos Juncas." It was the servant of 
my old childhood friend — ^Juan of all the Saints, called Juncas for 
short — whose father had come from San Juan Capistrano, and 
whose mother from the Pala Mission, and who himself had been 
aya ahajo at the Old Plaza Church in the Pueblo — which might 
mean anywhere from two doors south of the church to as far south 
as the Cienega Rancho. 

I shared my buns with him, and we chatted under a willow tree 
which stood by the roadside. He remembered my mother and 
brother, and told me what had become of Doiia Victoria's grand- 

Last summer a friend took me for a drive to the Mission to 
see an old Indian who claimed to be a hundred and four years old. 
To my astonishment it was none other than old Juan. During the 

62 Historical Society of Southern California 

short visit I had with him that afternoon he told me that after Dona 
Victoria died he Hved for twenty years with Don Benito Wilson, 
and after Don Benito's death became a servant to Colonel Kewen. 
He also remembered the exact site of the first church erected at San 
Gabriel, called "La Mission Vieja," three miles south of the present 
building, and recalled the times when the plains were filled with 
Indians of different tribes. He told me that people came from near 
and far to visit him in his Uttle house with the purple door, in which 
he is spending a quiet old age, and to ask him questions. He 
speaks English as well as Spanish. He was baptised at the Plaza 
Church, and his name, "Juncas" is pronounced as if spelled "Hun- 
kos." He is a single remaining outpost of a civilization all but lost 
in history. 



A long time ago when the first railroad into California had found 
its winding way over the high mountains and down to the sea there 
were not many people outside San Francisco, and the country was 
wide and empty. Father and two of his cousins had come with the 
Argonauts, but had chosen to raise sheep rather than to follow the 
uncertainties of mining, and that meant the control of much land 
for grazing. On one of these large sheep ranches, the San Justo, 
near the little old town of San Juan Bautista, I was born. 

Home was in the foothills whose velvety slopes, sometimes 
brown, sometimes green, were dotted with live oaks; and over all 
was the wide blue sky, a little patch of it seeming to have fallen 
into the pond in the near-by hollow. This was a wonderful pond, 
for it attracted water which appeared to run up hill through a road- 
side ditch, and it contained fish which never consented to be caught 
on the bent pin with which I fished for many an hour. 

The large house, built about 1860 to accommodate the three 
cousins and their families, was white, with green blinds, Maine 
memories bodied forth in a far land. It contained conveniences of 
modern plumbing that I fear the eastern prototypes had to await for 
still many a year. Under the long front veranda there could be 
found sweet potatoes very good for nibbling, and sacks of beet 
seed, reminders of an early interest in the manufacture of beet 
sugar. Beside the house there were horse barn and fine sheep bam, 
men's house and shed, all as white as the house itself. 

There was an old-fashioned flower garden with Johnnie-jump- 
ups, honeysuckle, mourning-bride, and an orange tree that gave 
blossoms but no oranges, important enough for me to remember; 
there was a vegetable garden where little onions and horseradish 
grew, and an orchard whose chief glory was several cherry trees. 
On top of a near-by hill was the family burying ground where a few 
lay under the wildflowers, some babies, and Uncle Solomon, father's 
young brother, who, while reading poetry in a lonely sheep-camp, 
had been shot to death by some unknown hand. 

No other houses were in sight, but not many miles away, down 
a winding road, and over the bridge, lay the town with its postoffice, 
store, a few houses and friends, and its old mission, which had a 
long corridor, arched and tile-paved, and an enclosed garden where 
peacocks used to walk and drop long, shining feathers for little girls 
to pick up. Inside was dim silence, with strange dark pictures on 

64 Historical Society of Southern California 

the walls, some old music books with large notes, and a precious 
Bible, chained to its desk. There was another church in the place, 
one that was light and bare and small, where I learned from a tiny 
flowered Sunday school card, "Blessed are the peacemakers," which, 
being interpreted for my benefit, meant, "Sally must not quarrel 
with little sister." And I ate up a rosebud and wriggled in 
my seat during the long sermon, and wondered about the lady who 
brushed her hair smooth and low on one side and high on the 
other: had she only one ear? And that is all I remember of the 
little church where I went almost every Sunday. 

My earliest memory is of sitting in my mother's lap in a stage 
full of men, and of being unbearably hot. But once when I asked 
my father if I had ever been taken on such a trip he maintained 
that I could not remember that terrible trip up through the San 
Joaquin Valley during the hottest weather he ever knew there, 
for I was not quite a year old. But I know I do remember. 

There were many long rides with father in those very little 
girl days, when he was going the rounds of the sheep camps or over 
to Salinas or Gilroy. For a time I would sit up very straight, but 
soon would retire to the bottom of the buggy for a nap, with father's 
foot for a pillow, and I remember when I grew so long that I could 
no longer lie straight, but must put my feet back under the seat. 

There was one time when father and I cleared land for many 
days together, burning oak stumps and grubbing out brush, and on 
the hillside above this I walked with mother, and she made me chap- 
lets of oak leaves, fastening each leaf to the next in a most ingenious 

There is a memory also of a trip to a circus at Hollister, where I 
saw Mr. and Mrs. Tom Thumb, Minnie Warren and Commodore 
Nutt, whose pictures, with Mr. Barnum, I still have. Minnie 
Warren was supposed to be the height of a six-year-old girl, and 
children of that age in the audience were invited to measure with 
her. But it must have been eastern six-year-olds that she was 
supposed to match, for I was quite a little taller. My first heroine 
was a lady of this same circus who rode bareback in tarleton skirts 
and jumped through tissue-papered hoops, but, alas ! I have lost 
her name ! 

All day there was play, except for an occasional stint of patch 
work, every day but Sunday, and then there was stories, oh, such 
stories ! Mother would say, "When I was a little girl away down 
in Maine" until Maine seemed Paradise. We had no brooks nor 
river, no snow nor sleds ; we had no Susan and Ella. Why were 
there only boys for me to play with, and why did not something 
interesting happen to me ? It was nothing to me that there was the 
big ranch with horses and cows, pigs, dogs, and sheep, hens and 

A Little Girl of Old California 65 

ducks, turkeys and geese — they were commonplace; it was nothing 
to me that Dick and I could make figure-four traps and catch live 
quail, or that once we found our trap disturbed and bear tracks all 
about ! It was not exciting to hunt tarantulas and to pry open the 
door that the mother spider was holding closed with all her strength, 
nor to see the baby tarantulas running in every direction when the 
nest was finally raided. No, life in California was very tame, 
compared to that in Maine — only the same things to do that I had 
done all my long life.! 

Once mother took me "way down to Maine" to see grandfather 
and grandmother. There I learned many strange things. Leaves 
were not green, but red and purple and yellow and brown, and they 
were so loose on the trees that of a sudden they all fell off; but 
they were very nice for scuffing in, and when the wind blew them 
after one they looked like all the rats following the Pied Piper of 
Hamelin, Mother gathered some of the prettiest leaves and pressed 
them, and polished them with wax and a hot iron, and we took 
them back to California and pinned them on our lace curtains. 

Soon after we reached Maine the air filled with goose feathers, 
only it wasn't feathers, but wet snow ! And then came sleds and 
sleigh rides, and Christmas with a piggy-back ride on grandfather to 
the tree at the church. 

In those days I learned smells as well as sights, and now know 
for always the smell of snow in the air, the weeds in winter, the 
woodshed and the winter-bound barn, and of the old, old house so 
long lived in. 

But we were not going to stay always in Maine, so father came 
all the way from San Juan to get us. He took us to Boston, where 
Miss Three-Year-Old was dressed up in her bottle green dress and 
bottle green coat, with stockings and velvet bonnet to match, and 
white kid gloves, and taken to call upon the cousins in Beacon 
Street, opposite the Gardens. At the side of the entrance steps 
was a low coping, just right for a handrail for the little girl, and 
she eternally disgraced herself, proving that she was no child of 
prim Boston, by dragging her little Western hand in its white kid 
glove up that rail. Poor black white gloves ! I am afraid she took 
more naturally to comfort and mud-pies than to elegance and formal 

Soon we reached Chicago, where Uncle Jo lived, and the big 
cinnamon bear in Union Park. That night there was a fire in 
the business section, and it was not so long after Chicago's great 
fire that people had forgotten the horror. There was fear and panic, 
and we must leave the hotel and fly to safety. We made our way 
slowly in the night, when children should be asleep, through streets 
packed with frightened, pushing, shouting people, to a house beyond 

66 Historical Society of Southern California 

the reach of danger. And from the seat in Uncle Jo's buggy we 
could look back over the heads of the people to the red fire dancing 
at the end of the street. The house where we went, so far as I 
remember, had nothing in it but mosquitoes and a red balloon, and 
a talking doll that the dear uncle bought. 

In those days it took a week to reach San Francisco from Chi- 
cago. What fun it was to have the table for lunch, and the basket 
opened and the good things laid out — fried chicken and a long, 
green bottle of olives, and a can of patent lemonade — a tiny bottle 
of extract in a can of the queerest, greenish sugar, and wanting only 
train water to make it into ambrosia. Then hands were washed 
in water made soft and white by Florida Water, something that 
never happened at home. There were Indians to be seen at the sta- 
tions, with little Hiawathas on their backs, and cunning beaded moc- 
casins to sell ; and once at night, with my nose pressed against the 
window, I saw by the light of a flaring torch a big buffalo head upon 
a pole. 

San Francisco came next, with a ride on the octogonal street 
street car, and a visit to Woodward's Gardens, and then home by 
train and stage. It was good, after all, to get back to California. 
Here was our own sitting room, with its marble mantel, its pretty 
flowered carpet, its pictures of L'Allegro and II Penseroso, hanging 
by their crimson cords with tassels ; and here were old toys and 
the boy cousins that Hved at the other and of the house. And here 
soon came little sister, who was the cunningest baby that ever was, 
but what a long time it did take for her to grow up enough to 
play with anyone who was born so much as three years ahead 
of her! 

We lived at San Justo forever, and then when I was seven, we 
moved to Los Angeles. And if I wanted I could tell many things 
of the Httle town of less than ten thousand people, a town with 
orange orchards and zanjas, of vineyards and cottage homes where 
now are paved streets and skyscrapers ; of the dentist who traveled 
in a golden chariot, and did a Painless Parker business in the open 
at the Plaza; of the tight-rope walker who flipped flapjacks on 
the rope across Main Street at the Baker Block; of the visit of 
President Hayes and his party, and the reception given him in the 
fashionable St. Elmo Hotel, alas ! no longer fashionable, tho' still 
standing. But why talk of Los Angeles? It was the place of 
business, going to school or buying shoes at the Queen or cloth for 
a doll's dress at Coulter's or Christmas presents at the Crystal 
Palace, or some other commonplace living. The fun of life was 
at the sheep ranches, the Alamitos or the Cerritos, at each of 
which lived an uncle and aunt and some double cousins, and at 
which I made long and frequent visits. 

A Little Girl of Old California 67 

It was at the Cerritos that I had my particular cronie, Harry, 
and it was there that the most interesting things happened to me. 
The old house now Hes on the brow of the hill like a tired dog that 
has thrown itself down to rest with its paws stretched out before it. 
Little do the gay people that motor past it on their way to the beach 
dream of the past glory of the old adobe, of its charm, its comfort, 
its active life. It was one of the largest and finest of old homes, 
a two-storied adobe, and it is a pity that it has been deserted. 

The main portion of the house, with its lower windows protected 
by iron bars, was one hundred feet long. On the north were two 
wings even longer, and the court was closed by an adobe wall with 
large wooden gates. On the south side of the house there was a 
long porch extending the full length, which was floored with brick 
that had come "around the Horn," while above it was the wide 
covered balcony on whose floor might possibly still be found little 
round patches of brea which we children dug with sticks from the 
roof and wings when the covering was softened in the summer sun. 
In front of these verandas there was a garden laid out in many beds 
with more of the travelled bricks, and a well-built hexagonal sum- 
mer house covered with Madeira vine in the center, the whole being 
surrounded by a ten-foot fence to keep out the winds that swept in 
from the neighboring ocean. 

The house was built about 1840 by Don Juan Temple (probably 
plain John Temple when he was baptised in far-away Massachu- 
setts), and it must have known all the hospitalities and festivities 
common to the life of those early haciendas. In 1866 Don Temple, 
growing old and wishing to close up his business affairs, sold to my 
people for twenty thousand dollars in gold the rancho of twenty- 
seven thousand acres and the house upon which he had lavished 
so much care and money. The bulk of this ranch was sold many 
years ago, and the towns of Clearwater and Hines and the city of 
Long Beach west of Alamitos Avenue, are upon it, the eastern 
part being upon the Alamitos Ranch. A short time after Don 
Temple made this sale he died and his wife and daughter, who was 
the wife of a French gentleman, went to Paris to live. People 
familiar with Los Angeles will remember the street starting from 
the old center of town which bears the name of Temple in honor 
of this old don. 

When my uncle and his beautiful young wife first began to 
live at the ranch they found some primitive conditions. The cook- 
ing in the kitchen was done before an open fireplace, supplemented 
by a brick oven in the yard. Clustering about the house were many 
little huts or jakals made of tule or willow brush, in which lived 
many old retainers of mixed Spanish and Indian blood, but as the 
business of the ranch was changed they gradually drifted away. 

68 Historical Society of Southern California 

There were few neighbors, except the Dominguez family, and Los 
Angeles, the sleepy little town, was too far away to offer much 
social life, but there were occasional visitors from San Francisco 
or far east, and trips to these places were taken. My aunt was a 
passenger, I have been told, on the first through train from San 
Francisco to the East. 

Once Admiral Thatcher, an old friend of the family, and at 
that time in command of the Pacific fleet, came in his flagship, 
"Pensacola," to San Pedro, and he and his officers were guests at 
the ranch for several days. I have seen a letter of his written soon 
after this in which he makes recommendations for the construc- 
tion of a suitable harbor at San Pedro, which are interesting in the 
light of the developments of half a century later. 

It is around this old house that happy memories of my later 
childhood gather. We children ranged about freely from morning 
to night during our vacation days. On rare rainy days I read, lying 
crosswise on one of the stufifed chairs covered with dark red leather, 
or curled up in one of the deep windowsills — the walls of the lower 
floor were four feet thick, so that the windows, perhaps, functioned 
better as cubby holes than as sources of light. 

But it was out of doors that we usually played. We could go 
down to the orchard, where all summer long there were ripe apples 
and pears, or we could shed our usual shoes and wade in the San 
Gabriel, reduced to its safe summer level. I remember once sitting 
down, clothes and all, in a deeper pool, and grinning over the sur- 
face at Harry, similarly seated. We could watch the hundreds of 
pigeons flying in and out of the deserted old adobe, known to us, 
because of its condition, as "The Flea House," or we could go to 
our retreat in an enlarged coyote hole in the pasture on the other 
side of the hill. We could play in the old stage that stood in the 
weeds just outside the high garden fence, a stage that remained 
from the earlier day before the railroads when father and his 
cousin partners ran the stage lines, carrying mails, express and pas- 
sengers between San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. 

In the right wing of the house was a store room of unfailing 
interest, but locked and barred. Here were barrels of brown sugar, 
so good by the handful, and sweet chocolate that tempted to petty 
larceny; big boxes of Chinese tea with gay pictures on the outside 
and a heavy lead foil that carried the smell of tea for many days in 
our pockets. 

One day I discovered heavy white smoke pouring out the iron- 
barred window, and my hurried search for father brought him and 
several men to fight a most difficult fire caused by the drying out 
and self-ignition of some sticks of phosphorus kept for preparing 
poisoned wheat for the army of squirrels that wanted our grain. 

A Little Girl of Old California 69 

Next to this room was the dark blacksmith shop, with the wide, 
black chimney, the old forge and bellows, the anvils where we 
pounded lead pipe into the semblance of little books, and ornamented 
them with designs of nail pricks; and high up in the wall the mys- 
terious funnel-shaped holes that were meant for guns in the early 
days when defense might be needed. The next room was a carriage 
room, beyond that a dark room whose entire floor I have seen 
covered with apples, and the last room was a man's room where 
lived one of our good friends, who later deserted the ranch to open 
a saloon on Commercial Street in Los Angeles. 

Across the court in the other wing of the house was the kitchen 
where Ying reigned supreme, and Fan was his prime minister. Next 
came the men's dining room, with oilcloth-covered table, and always 
the smell of mutton stew and onions, good to the hungry noses; 
then the woodroom, a very necessary adjunct to a kitchen where 
cooking for as many as thirty people had to be done with willow 
wood for fuel. Then came the wash room, where every week we 
could watch the inimitable skill of the Chinese method of sprinkling 
clothes with a spray blown from the mouth — those were the days 
before the propaganda against germs. The last room on that side 
was the dairy room, with its rows of pans of milk and its fas- 
cinating barrel churn. From that room used to come unlimited 
supplies of milk, butter, and cream that could be spread with a 
knife, a variety of cream that seems to have vanished from the 

Back of this wing was a second court with barns, granary 
(where we sometimes raced over the deep, loose grain catching mice 
in our hands), pig-pens, chicken house, and private accommodations 
for Silverheel, father of all the colts, the wise stallion who. when 
once caught in a burning stable, dashed out and smothered the fire 
in his burning mane by rolling in the dust, an example that was 
remembered and followed successfully later by my little cousin 
Fanny when her dress caught fire. In this rear court stood also 
the brick oven where, every Saturday, Ying baked pies and rolls 
and bread, and, at Christmas time, the whole little pig. 

But the sheltered, spacious garden, lying in the sunshine, was the 
best of all. Old cedars, whose cones we were told by an older boy, 
were bats' eggs ; locust, orange and lemon blossoms, lilac and lemon- 
verbena, roses and oleander, heliotrope and honey-suckle, and the 
odor of honey stored for years by the bees, made a heaven of fra- 
grance. The linnets, friendly and twittering, built about the porch 
and the swallows nested under the eaves ; the ruby-throated and 
iridescent humming birds darted from flower to flower and built 
their tiny felt-like nests in the trees, and great, lazy, yellow butter- 
flies floated by. There were oranges and lemons, olives, pome- 

70 Historical Society of Southern California 

granates and figs; and grapes, green, blueblack and rose-colored, 
hanging under the low canopies of leaves and inviting us to lie in 
the pale green light and feast without stint. Over by the windmill 
was a boggy bed of mint, and many a brewing of afternoon tea 
it furnished us — mint tea in the summer-house, with Ying's cookies, 
scalloped and sparkling with sugar crystals. 

Cookies were not the only things in which Ying excelled. There 
were cakes fearfully and wonderfully decorated with frosting 
curly-cues and custard pie so good that grandfather always 
included it with the doughnuts and cheese that little David carried 
in his lunch-basket when he went up to visit his brothers on the 
famous occasion when he slew Goliath with his sling-shot. 

Grandfather had left his old Maine home and now sat on the 
wide brick veranda and charmed his child audience with versions of 
the Hebrew stories that I judge he did not use in the pulpit of the 
dignified village church where he had ministered for so many years. 
We learned how Samson's strength returned to him, when, in the 
temple of the Philistines, the hooting mob threw rotten eggs at him 
(grandfather knew how mobs act, for he had met them in the days 
when he was an early speaker for the Abolitionist), and we learned 
more about David, how, when the lion attacked his sheep, he ran 
so fast to the rescue that his little coat-tails stuck out straight behind 
him; how, when the lion opened his mouth to roar, David reached 
down his throat and caught him by the roots of his tongue and held 
him, while with his other hand he pulled his jack-knife out of his 
trouser's pocket, opened it with his teeth, and promptly killed the 
beast; how he then sat down upon a great white stone, played on 
his jewsharp and sang "Twinkle, twinkle, little star." 

Grandfather not only told us stories, but to me he opened Sunday 
for secular reading, telling me one day when the question of my 
reading Grimm's Fairy Tales on Sunday had been raised, and I had 
been sent to him as the highest authority — I see him looking over 
the tops of his spectacles at the wishful child — that a book that was 
fit to read any day was fit to read on Sunday. I bless the memory 
of grandfather. 

I treasure a little lacquer box that he bought for me once from 
a Chinese peddler who had walked the dusty miles from Los An- 
geles, balancing on a pole over his shoulder the two large, round 
bamboo baskets, so familiar in those earlier California days. We 
all gathered while on the floor of the shady porch were spread the 
wonders of China; nests of lacquer boxes, with graceful sprays 
or curious designs in dull gold ; bread boats, black outside and 
Chinese vermilion inside; Canton china, with its fascinating ladies 
and flowers and butterflies in pink and green ; tea-pots in basket 
cosies, covered cups, chop-sticks and ivory back-scratchers ; carved 

A Little Girl of Old California 71 

ivories; crepe or embroidered handkerchiefs, cerise, white, apple 
green ; gorgeous hanging baskets of flowers fashioned from bright 
colored silk, feathers and tinsel; sandal-wood boxes and fans, puz- 
zles, tiny tortoise-shell turtles with quivering legs and head, safely 
fastened in little glass-covered green boxes, and lichee nuts and 
cocoanut candy. How could so many things come out of those 
two baskets ? 

If the Chinaman was an essential part of the housekeeping, the 
Mexican was no less important in the ranch work. There were 
many of them, several Joses, Miguel (who, by the way, is spending 
his last days with various of his descendants in the old house), 
Allesandro, and others, but the one who stands out was Juan 
Cafiedo, a dignified figure who had come with the ranch, insisting 
that he belonged with the land and had been sold with it by Don 
Temple. He was the best vaquero in the country, being equally 
skillful with either hand in the use of the lariat. When not other- 
wise occupied I remember him setting out on horseback, surrounded 
with the hounds, Duke, Queen, Timeroso, and a dozen others, to 
hunt coyotes, the constant menace to the sheep. Old Juan never 
condescended to speak English, although he understood it, and as 
I did not speak Spanish I never talked with him. The boys learned 
Spanish, and so were able to enjoy the tales he told. They also, 
being boys, had the privilege of riding with him to the rodeos at the 
Palos Verdes, but I, being only a girl, must stay at home and be a 
lady, whether I was one or not. 

Sheep, however, were the main interest. We ate sheep, smelled 
sheep, saw sheep, heard sheep, talked sheep ; we lived, moved and 
had our being in, for and by sheep. There were sometimes as many 
as thirty thousand on this ranch alone. We had got into the 
business in the early days of our being in California, long before 
I was dreamed of. 

My father, Llewellyn Bixby, and two cousins, Benjamin and 
Thomas Flint, all young men in their twenties, came from Maine 
by way of the Isthmus of Panama to California, reaching San 
Francisco on the S. S. Northerner on July 7, 1851. They landed in 
a small boat at Clay and Montgomery streets, and left the same 
evening for Sacramento. From there they went by freight wagon 
to Volcano, Amador County. Sooner or later my father's seven 
brothers and two sisters found their way to this land of promise, 
and now all lie sleeping under its sunny sky. 

A week of mining satisfied the three cousins and they looked 
for other work, my father finding a job with a butcher who paid him 
$150.00 a month, with board, no small item in those days when the 
cost of living was higher even than now. After a year and a half 
the young men had accumulated five thousand dollars, which they 

72 Historical Society of Southern California 

decided to combine, and therewith make a business venture as part- 
ners. So on Christmas Day, 1852, they left Volcano, sailing from 
San Francisco on the same S. S. Northerner on the following New 
Year's Day. I have been told that one of them sat on the precious 
box of gold dust all the way. 

While the gold was being minted at Philadelphia they visited the 
home in Maine, then took the train for the west, going to Indianap- 
olis, the western limit of rail travel at that time. There they formed 
the partnership of Flint, Bixby & Co., a well-known firm of early 
California. From here they started on horseback. At Quincy, 
Illinois, they purchased their outfit for the trip across the plains 
and bought 2400 sheep. They crossed the Mississippi on June first, 
went on to Council Bluffs, thence by the Mormon Trail to Salt 
Lake City. Here they bought 110 head of cattle, and, it being too 
late to cross the Sierras, took the Fremont Trail into Southern 
California, arriving at San Bernardino on January first, 1854, just 
a year to a day from their sailing from San Francisco. They 
arrived at San Gabriel a week later and went into camp on the 
present site of Pasadena, where they stayed until March, when they 
started up the coast. They camped at Santa Teresa Ranch, near 
San Jose, for a year, then moved to Monterey County, and in 
October purchased the San Justo Ranch from Francisco Perez 
Pacheco, one-half of which was later sold to Colonel William Hol- 

How I wish I knew more of the details of the venturesome 
trip, but I remember only a few of the incidents that my father 
told me as a child. I recall his boast that he had walked across the 
plains, explaining that the sheep moved so slowly that it was 
pleasanter to walk than to use his horse. Just before reaching Salt 
Lake City their caravan came upon a stranded party of Mormons, 
whom they rescued and took in safety to their goal, the oasis of 
the City of the Saints. Brigham Young was so pleased at their 
kindness to his followers that he entertained the young Yankees, 
their cattle and sheep for two weeks, in order that they might be 
in good condition to meet the hardships of the coming trip across 
the desert. Our party escaped any general attack of Indians, but 
one young man who was standing guard for father one night was 
shot and killed. On one occasion some Indians brought in venison, 
which was bought and greatly enjoyed until it was discovered that 
the number of supposed deer corresponded exactly to the number 
of their colts that had disappeared mysteriously. They lost other 
of the stock, especially during the last stretch of desert, where there 
were one hundred miles without water, but on the whole whole the 
venture was a great success, and we were launched in the sheep 
business, almost the first of any Americans to be so in California. 

A Little Girl of Old California 73 

It had grown to large proportions long before I knew it, with 
many bands of sheep on many ranches in different parts of the 
state. At one time these men imported some valuable Merino 
sheep, materially improving the quality of California wool. I 
remember a wonderful ram with wool that hung to the ground, 
and great curling horns, an honored gentleman who lived in state 
in the "Fine Stock Bam" with a few favored wives. It was im- 
pressed upon the little girl that it was not wise to get familiar with 
him, for he was neither poUte nor gentle. 

Most of the sheep, however, lived out on the ranges in bands 
of about two thousand under the care of a sheepherder and several 
dogs. These men lived lonely lives, usually seeing no one between 
the weekly visits of the man with supplies from the ranch. Often 
there was some mystery about the men who took this work — a life 
with the sheep was far away from curious observation, and served 
very well for a living grave. Once I overheard talk of a herder who 
had been found dead in his little cabin. He had hanged himself. 
And no one knew what tragedy in his life lay behind the fatal 
despondency ! 

Once every week a man from the ranch made the rounds of the 
sheep camps, carrying mail and tobacco and food, brown sugar, 
coffee, flour, bacon, beans, potatoes, dried apples. On the morn- 
ings when this was to happen I have watched the flickering light 
of the lantern travel back and forth over the ceiling of the room 
where I was supposed to be asleep, as the finishing touches were 
put on the wagon-load, and the horses were brought and hitched 
to the wagon before daylight, so that the long rounds could be 
made before night. 

Twice a year, spring and fall, the sheep came up to be sheared, 
dipped and counted. Father usually attended to the count himself, 
as he could keep tally without confusion. He would stand by a 
narrow passage between two corrals, and as the sheep went crowd- 
ing through he would count and keep tally by cutting notches on 
a willow stick. 

During shearing time we heard new noises out in the dark at 
night, after we were tucked in our beds, the candle blown out and 
the door to the upper porch opened. Always there were crickets 
and owls and howling coyotes, and overhead the scurrying foot- 
steps of some mouse on its mysterious errands, or the soft dab of 
an errant bat on the window, but now were added the unceasing 
bleatings of thousands of sheep in a strange place, and separated, 
ewe from lamb, lamb from ewe. 

Shearing began on Monday morning, and the day before the 
shearers would come in a gay band of Mexicans on their prancing 
horses, decked with wonderful bridles made of rawhide or braided 

74 Historical Society of Southern California 

horsehair, and trimmed with silver, and saddles with high horns, 
sweeping stirrups and wide expanse of beautiful tooled leather. 
The men themselves were dressed in black broadcloth, with ruf- 
fled shirts and high-heeled boots and high-crowned, wide sombreros, 
trimmed with silver-braided hatbands, and held securely in place by 
a cord under the nose. The men would come in, fifty or sixty at a 
time, and stake out their caballos, put away their finery, and appear 
in brown overalls, red bandanas upon their heads, and live and work 
at the ranch for a month, so many were the sheep to be sheared. 

Once at the Alamitos a number of men had chosen places in 
the hay in the bam to sleep, each man holding his chosen place 
most jealousy from invasion. Half a dozen of us children, starting 
out after breakfast on the day's adventure, after taking each a slice 
from the raw ham stolen from the smoke-house and secreted in the 
hay, spied some clothes carefully hung on the wall above the hay- 
mow, and the idea of stuffing the clothes into the semblance of a 
man was no sooner born than it was adopted. Our whole joy was 
in doing a life-like piece of work and perhaps of fooling somebody. 
Little we knew how seriously a hot-tempered Mexican might object 
to being fooled. In the evening when the men came to go to bed 
the owner of the particular hole in which our dummy was sleeping 
was furious at finding his place occupied. He ordered the stranger 
out. No move. He swore violently. Still no move. He kicked. 
And as he saw the man come apart and spill out hay instead of 
blood, his rage knew no bounds, his knife came out, and it was only 
by good luck that we children were not the cause of a murder that 

There were similar wool barns at all three of the ranches that I 
knew, but I officiated at shearing more often at the Cerritos. Here 
the barn was out beyond the garden, facing away from the house, 
and towards a series of corrals of varying sixes. The front of the 
barn was like a wide veranda, with big cracks in the floor. Before 
this were two small enclosures into which a hundred sheep might 
be turned. The shearer would go out among these sheep, feel 
critically the wool on the back, choose his victim and drag it back- 
ward, holding it by one leg, while it hopped on the remaining three, 
to his regular position on the shearing floor. Throwing the sheep 
down, he would hold it with his knees, tip its head up, and begin 
to clip, clip, clip, until soon its fleece would be lying on the floor, 
the sheep would be dismissed with a slap and the wool gathered up 
and placed on the counter that ran the length of the barn back of 
the shearing floor. Here the big boys of the family tied each fleece 
into a ball and tossed it into the long sack suspended in a frame 
a few feet back, another responsible boy or man tramping the 
fleeces down tight into the long bag. When the shearer brought his 

A Little Girl of Old California 75 

fleece to the counter he was given a Httle copper check, about the 
size of a nickel, and marked J. B., which he was to present Saturday 
afternoon when father and uncle exchanged checks for money. It 
was a fact that frequently the most rapid shearers did not get the 
most pay on pay-day, simply because they were less skillful as gam- 
blers than as shearers. I remember going one night out into the 
garden and peeking through a knot-hole to^ watch the dark skinned 
men squatting around a single candle intensely interested in a game 
of cards. The pile of copper checks was very evident, and the cards 
were curious, foreign-looking, quite different from the ones in the 

I had several parts in these busy days. Sometimes I was allowed 
to walk back and forth on the counter and give out the checks to 
the men when they brought a fleece, and much time I spent up on 
this same counter braiding the long, hanging bunches of twine that 
was used for tying up the fleeces in balls. I worked until I became 
expert in branding any number of strands, either flat or round. A 
few times I was let climb up the frame and down into the suffo- 
catingly hot depths of the hanging sacks, to help tramp the wool, 
but that was not a coveted privilege, it was too hot. I loved to hold 
the brass stencils while the name of firm and number of sack was 
painted on the prone roll before it was put aside to wait for the 
next load going to Wilmington. Never was there a better place 
for running and tumbling than the row of long, tight wool sacks in 
the dark corner of the bam. 

And many a check was slipped into our hands, that would 
promptly change into a watermelon, fat and green or long and 
striped, for during the September shearing there was always just 
outside the barn a big "Studebaker," not an auto in those days, full 
of melons sold always, no matter what the size, for a nickel apiece. 
It has ruined me permanently as a shopper for watermelons ; nothing 
makes me feel more abused by the H. C. L. than to try to separate 
a grocer and his melon. 

I seem to have gotten far away from my subject, but, really, 
I am only standing in the brown mallows outside the open end of the 
wool barn, watching the six-horse team start for Wilmington with 
its load of precious wool that is to be shipped by steamer to "The 
City," San Francisco, the one and only of those days. 

As soon as the shearing was well under way the dipping began. 
This was managed by the members of the family and the regular 
men on the ranch. In the corral east of the barn was the brick 
fireplace with the big tank on top where the "dip" was brewed, 
scalding tobacco soup, seasoned with sulphur, and I do not know 
what else. This mess was served hot in a long, narrow, sunken 
tub, with a vertical end near the cauldron, and a sloping, cleated 

76 Historical Society of Southern California 

floor at the other. Into this steaming bath each sheep was thrown, 
it must swim fifteen or twenty feet to safety, and during the passage 
its head must be pushed beneath the surface. How glad it must 
have been when its feet struck bottom at the far end, and it could 
scramble out to safety. How it shook itself, and what a taste it 
must have had in its mouth. I am afraid Madam Sheep cherished 
hard feelings against her universe. She did not know that her 
over-ruling providence was saving her from the miseries of a bad 
skin disease. 

Now the sheep are all gone, and the shearers and dippers are 
gone, too. The pastoral life gave way to the agricultural, and that 
in turn to the town and city. There is Long Beach. Once it was 
cattle range, then sheep pasture, then, when I first knew it, a barley 
field with one shed standing about where Pine and First streets 
cross. And the beach was our own private, wonderful beach ; and 
we children felt that our world was reeling when the beach was sold 
and called Wilmore City. Nobody now knows what a wide, smooth, 
long beach it was. It was covered with shells and piles of kelp and 
a broad band of tiny clams ; there were gulls and many little shore 
birds, and never a footprint except the few we made, only to be 
washed away by the next tide. Two or three times a summer we 
would go over from the ranch for a day, and beautiful days we 
had, racing on the sand or going into the breakers with father or 
uncle, who are now thought of only as old men, venerable fathers of 
the city. Ying would put us up a most generous lunch, but the 
thing that was most characteristic and which is remembered best 
is the meat cooked over the little driftwood fire. Father always was 
cook of the mutton chops that were strung on a sharpened willow 
stick, and I shall never forget the most delicious meat ever given 
me, smoky chops, gritty with he sand blown over them by the con- 
stant sea breeze. I wonder if the chef of the fashionable Hotel Vir- 
ginia, which occupies the site of our out-door kitchen, ever serves 
the guests so good a meal as we had on the sand of the beautiful, 
empty beach. 

All these things happened once upon a time in the long ago, and 
now we children are all grown up, and grandfather, father and 
mother and uncles and boon-companion Harry live only in the 
changeless land of memory.